At Indolivestock, which was recently held in Jakarta, I met a friend of mine. With a lazy voice he told me that he just got fired. The cause of why he got fired was because of his status on one of the social media accounts.
Actually he didn’t complain about his job as a sales person or even his boss, but his status made some of the company’s clients, where he was working, feel uncomfortable, subsequently “un-friend-ed” him.
He was at Indolivestock hoping to find a new job. But if he couldn’t find a job in animal agriculture sector, he would try his luck in a different sector with totally different people who know nothing about his social media problem.
An employee being fired because of social media is not a new thing for me. I once read a similar case in the international news. But this case was in my country, in the animal agriculture sector.
Linking the case with a seminar I attended recently by Alltech, I totally agree with the statement made by Dr Alison Leary of Alltech. She said, “Positive or negative impacts of social media depend on how well we use social media.”
On the other hand, people in the animal agriculture sector are now talking about the power of social media. Many of them say it’s time to tell our story (animal agriculture) to our customers: the consumers of meat, egg and milk.
Some animal agriculture related companies have also been using social media for their business. While others not – from what I understand, their reason is: they don’t have the human resources to run the social media or they are just not yet ready to use that medium. Some companies are careful about trying to profit from social media, as the negative impacts are usually uncontrolled.
In running social media for an organization or company, having the right human resources is ‘very’ critical. I can say ‘very’ critical because I have a true story about it. Some months ago, a start-up animal agriculture firm in my country was hiring an employee to do promotions on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The guy claimed he knew how to create social media accounts and how to use it. But then this firm had a conflict of interest issue. The status or replies written by the guy were too personal. He forgot that the social media accounts were not his personal accounts. And as it could be predicted, the accounts got many “negative” responses.
On that case, Standard Operational Procedures (SOP)/guidelines on how to run social media for an organization or company are needed. The person in charge should realize that s/he acts on behalf of the organization and all status or replies should be representative of that organization.
As additional information for companies, a group of social media analysts Raconteur have shared 3 points that “Companies should … before jumping into social media”.
- define a clear and measureable objective which is in line with the business objective.
- understand “how to” use the social media, that means understanding the characteristics and features.
- understand “what to do” to reach the objective, that means understanding how to utilize the social media effectively.
Back to the statement of Dr. Leary, whether managing personal or company accounts, how well we use social media is important. And before we tell our animal agriculture story, it’s also critical to measure how well we use social media.
PS: I would love to hear your story or experience with social media.