Before You Share Your Opinion…

r1109933_13482704Last week I shared some of the values that organisations (Shoes of Prey) can add to their businesses and customers using social media. Just like everything that has a good side, social media can also bite the users skin deep. In today’s post, we will be looking at some of the legal risks that can affect an organisation if precautions were not initially taken. For this purpose, I have chosen to use Myer retail store chains as my organisation of focus.

Gone are the days of traditional broadcast media where every conversation is one to many, the publisher has the sole responsibility the information being published and the facts behind them. In the case of Social media, everyone is a publisher and their is an online permanent trace to everything that is being published. Malcolm Burrows of Dundas Lawyers said that “it seems that almost everyone from young to old, rich to poor,CEO s to tradespeople are engaging in social media, what about the disadvantages? One of the predominant disadvantages is that social media sites can distort the boundaries between the work and private lives of employees, meaning that people now interact in a social setting and also do business as a result of this interaction”.

3141182898_47f209477e-359x300Australia’s biggest retail department store group and (with an annual turnover in excess $3 billion) market leader in Australian retailing, Myer, was founded by Russian migrant Sidney Myer in 1899 and today, with about 14,000 team members and 67 stores across Australia, deal with men, women and children’s fashion, accessories, furniture, home ware, etc.

Recently, Myer decided to jump on the social media band wagon by using Facebook, Twitter and You Tube in a number of ways like targeting and adding value to customers to ensure competitive offerings. Earlier this year in May, Myer CEO, Bernie Brookes said in a conference, that the proposed levy to fund the National Disability Insurance scheme (NDIS) will hurt retail sales as it will cost their customers $300 which they would have spent in one of their stores. This statement resulted in a social media crisis as their Facebook and Twitter pages (#myer started trending overnight) were bombarded with hundreds of messages from NDIS supporters calling him words like “selfish”, “callous” and “bigoted”. With over 190,000 subscribers, one person, Jackie commented on Facebook saying ” Myer is Australia’s largest department store and has been synonymous with style and fashion for over 100 years. Sadly, the thoughtless comments by your CEO today regarding the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s supposed negative impact on Myer’s profits mean that Myer is now synonymous with insensitivity, ignorance, elitism and greed. Shame on you, Bernie Brookes, shame on you Myer”.

Legal Risks of Social Media that could affect Myer and the Retail Industry?

Laurel Papworth of Forbes magazine, in response to the Myer social media issue said, “there is no doubt that PR professionals do a great job of training their CEOs to speak to businesses, to stakeholders, to board members- but they do a lousy job of preparing the boss for social media”. Posting your opinions about something or someone online to be seen by millions of people feels a lot less inhibited than sharing the same thing physically in front of millions of people. Due to the liberty given to us by social media, it is important for organisations to know their legal risks.

  • social-media-for-lawyersReputation Risks are one of the most common risks that can happen  to Myer as a result of wrongfully using social media or engaging negatively in a public conversation having a great social media following. It is also the most imperative risk to minimize as it can cost the organisation some serious damages to their brand as seen in the unfortunate Myer-NDIS event.  Papworth said, ” I am watching Myer’s stock in real time, drop as the social media viral effects hold. On the day of the comments alone, it fell about 4 percent. can CEOs really afford to be this oblivious to social media?”.
  • Loss and Disclosure of Confidential Information– retail businesses such as Myer use lots of social media tools such as gamification in form of reward cards, MyerOne card to promote their sales. these cards contain personal details of customers and sometimes these information might be used by the employees or contractors to request a connection to social media platforms such as LinkedIn from clients, thereby breach confidential information by sharing the organisation’s database on social media.
  • Defamation– Being in a very competitive industry (retail), companies like Myer stores, it is likely that employees either on work time or personal time, might post or comment online making false statements about other people or products/services of competitors.

Social media Policies are put in place to communicate acceptable and unacceptable social media conducts and should;

  • Be clear on how postings by third parties are to be managed
  • Also help employees have an understanding of how to react appropriately when bad social media situations arise
  • have clear agreements with employees on boundaries
  • cover things like accessing and circulating inappropriate contents in the workplace

Before I go today I would like to share this video of US congressman, Anthony Wiener mistakenly tweeting a picture of his groins  as an example of how social media gone terrible wrong, can cause harm not only to you or your business but to others around you. Enjoy

This was a bit messy, i’d have to agree. Wouldn’t want to be this guy for a million dollars. Thank you for joining me today and until next time, Goodbye, Adeu, Addios, Au revoir…have a great week


Your Customer Reflects Your Business

Shoes-of-Prey-270x180Hello again and welcome to my enterprise 2.0 blog, where I bring you the latest on social technology and the and how it influences organisations (large, medium or small) today. Last week, I showed you a glimpse of enterprise 2.0 in action using Starbucks and Ford as an example.Today’s post will be focused on how businesses can make use of social technology to add value to their business.  Whether we want to admit it or not, social technology has improved our connections and is responsible for some of the ideas that have come to be via brainstorming.

According to MGI  (pages 35-40), there is a large untapped potential for businesses to use social technology to add value in a way of improving communication, knowledge sharing, and collaboration. From their research in 2012, they identified 10 value applications of social technologies that organisations use to create value in their organisational functions. But I will be using Shoes of Prey as an example today, to focus briefly on four them as it applies to two segments of the organisation value chain.The two value chains I will be focusing on today are;

  • Product development
  • Operations and distribution

Shoes of Prey?  Shoes of Prey is an online retail store based in Sydney (where they recently opened their first shop) that lets you go on their website, register and design your very own shoes which will be hand-made and then delivered (free of charge) to you. They make different types of shoes for different types of feet (narrow, wide, odd,big feet etc). This medium business was founded by three friends in 2009;

  • one is from a law and advertising background and
  • the other two were former Google executives.

In Edelman Australia post, Shoes of prey co-founder, Jodie talks about how social media boosted their business from her lounge room to the international business it is today. She said that reaching out to YouTube wiz kid, Blair Fowler (who has over 1 million subscribes) gave her and her partners’ a stepping stone, as she had over 200 million viewers on her YouTube vlog. With over 30, 000 Facebook fans and over 7,000 followers on twitter, Jodie said that their strategy for success with social media was replying quickly and relevantly to posts on their pages and also mention Twitter as “a great proactive tool” that engages customers, taking you to them instead of waiting for them to come to you.

Product Development (co-creation and deriving customer insights)

barriers to product developmentAsking customers to design their own shoes using the shoe and sophisticated material templates found in the 3D design tool on their website, is what makes Shoes of Prey so unique to other shoe manufacturers and retailers, as you get to choose the shape, color and size of your shoes and get it produced (hand made, I might add) and shipped to you in any part of the world. The idea to customize your own shoe was born when Jodie, realized that she never seemed to find one shoe that had everything she wanted.

It always gives a good feeling looking at a gorgeous shoes and realizing two things;

  • It’s yours and
  • It’s your design!

Earlier this year, Shoes of Prey teamed up with Foxtel’s Fox8 channel to promote one of their international series Carrie’s Diary in honor of the lead actress’s obsession for shoes . As part of the promotion, Shoes of Prey set up a competition to Fox8 viewers via Facebook. The competition was for every contestant (including your truly) to log in via Facebook, sign up, design, submit and share a pair of shoes daily for 30 days for a chance to win one of your shoes at the end of the competition, they also encouraged contestants by announcing daily winners each day. Through this strategy, Shoes of Prey was able to get a statistics of the kind of shoes people liked and after the competition, used this data to email contestants (potential customers) with suggestions of shoes they might want to order from them especially during the holidays(brilliant,right?I still get suggestion emails).

Operation and Distribution (forecast and monitor, distribute business processes)

effective-salesTaking a feather from MGI, organisations that keep track and monitor their social media can use information derived, to improve their inventory and how the business functions. Shoes of Prey uses its Twitter and Facebook page to advertise their products and also collate customer feedback on their products by improving on the best ones and turning the bad ones into something positive. They also use twitter as a medium of employment.

In my opinion, to improve customer engagement, I believe that their website need a little more work and they might also consider inculcating some gamification  features,in form of reward such as discount vouchers, gift cards etc.,  in their website (most designs, best designs etc.) to draw more people to design and order for shoes.

Until next time, Goodbye, Adeu, Addios, Au revior.

Enterprise 2.0 in Action

Another Day and Counting..Having a fun weekend?, I know it has to be better than the one I’m having at least. Before I get into the topic of the day, I would love to share a few things with you guys.First, I have set up My ” Must see places before I die” page just like I promised in my last post (Yeah!!), so feel free to have a read, provide feedback and share yours as well (only if you feel like it…no pressure) and maybe we have some places in common. Next, I will be sharing some of my interesting experiences at some of those places that I have gone to. Secondly, someone asked me a weird question earlier last week and I told her I would share it with you guys and then get back to her.The question was “How old is TOO OLD to live on earth?”, crazy question! was my first reaction, , but then (at the risk of questioning or challenging the power that be) I thought that there might actually be a certain age that one would get to and it might just be too uncomfortable to actually do anything.

think   What do you think?

Glad we got that out of my head. To the serious stuff, Enterprise 2.0 in action (how organisations make use of social technologies to improve their business value). Mckinsey Global Institute, MGI defines social technology as ” the products and services that enable social interactions in a digital realm, and this allows people to connect and interact virtually; which also provide distributed rights to communicate, and add, modify or consume content”. In this blog post, I will be briefly discussing how one of the biggest coffee making chains, Starbucks and a car manufacture that has become a household name, Ford, uses social technology to improve their business value.

My Starbucks Idea

Coffee-Shop-starbucks-25055149-1280-1024  I am not one for coffee but, I recently found myself entering a Starbucks coffee shop in Manhattan NY one snowy evening. While waiting in line to place my order, I overheard two men talking about how one of them had pitched an idea to Starbucks through a medium they called “Mystarbucks idea“, I didn’t get to hear most of their conversation (not eavesdropping, I promise) before they left. I heard about it again in a lecture and that was when I decided to look it up to know how it worked.

In 2008, with the emergence of rival coffee stores, Starbucks was struggling with its expansion (over 18,000 stores) in about 60 countries, when its net income fell short by 28% to $108.7 million. So as part of their turnaround plan, the chairman and chief executive, Howard Schultz announced a strategy (My Starbucks Idea) in their annual stakeholders’ meeting, during which Chris Bruzzo of Starbucks first demonstrated the idea  which the content was to be generated by stakeholders’ ideas. My Starbucks Idea is a site that not only allows customers to share their creative ideas but, it also allows for the them to follow up and see whether their ideas have been adopted by the company and thus co-creating a product or service with Starbucks (intriguing, isn’t it?). The site features a daily question poll which allows the Starbucks to get some sort of census on the their products and services and also makes use of gamification in the form of a leader board to show the top ideas, votes and comments submitted by customers   .A month after the launch of My Starbucks idea, Starbucks launched another site called “Starbucks volunteer to volunteer” which is a community for collaboration and discussion. Such a success should be something most organisations should (if they aren’t doing so already) strive for. They also have a Facebook and Twitter account with over 25 million and 1.5 million followers respectively, which is dedicated mainly to engage customers and staff and to answer their questions.

Ford Fiesta Movement

ford_badge  Ford Motor company’s global digital and multimedia communications manager, Scott Monty in BU Today , Boston University’s media, said that the best thing that companies can do is play an active role in online communities ad shouldn’t be seen as an advertising platform. Monty led a team that developed the social media that was used in the context which was created by Ford called Ford Fiesta Movement and believes that the campaign has put the company on the social media map with 1.8 million Facebook and 206,000 Twitter followers. He also talked about the trust which was evident by consumers trusting one another to give honest testimonials. The contest was created to introduce the redesigned ford fiesta to young drivers by choosing 100 drivers to drive the ford fiesta for a year while documenting and uploading the video streams( from the camera that was attached to the car to record review from the drivers ) to twitter. BU media blog also said that Monty was ranked among the “Top 10 influencers in Social media and the best corporate Social Media lead on the planet” by Monty also spoke to BU students at a free and open event as he believed and said in an interview with BU Today that,”students should keep a broader awareness of sociological trends, think like a regular consumer , and to take that mentality and attach it to business strategies”.

That is all I have for you today, thanks for visiting my blog, will appreciate some feedback and don’t forget my Must see places before I die and share if you have visited some (if not all 🙂 ) of the places on there. Also, please I’d like to hear your thoughts on the How old is too old question I presented earlier in the post. Until the next blog! Good bye, Au revoir, Adios, Auf wiedersehen, Addio..

Me, Myself and Blogging

Hello everyone, welcome to my nightmare (Blogging or as I call it, thinking out loud). I say nightmare because before this blog I have always been very careful of the kind of things I put on the internet as most times whatever goes on there can come back to hunt you. Just recently, my husband came home and I noticed immediately that he wasn’t his chappy self so I asked him what was up, I almost choked on the fruit I was snacking on when he asked me why I was registered on an online dating site. It took a lot of hours, a back massage and his favorite meal to reassure him that I did not register on any dating site.

Now to the business of the day, even though this space is for a successful grade for enterprise 2.0, I believe that it is about time I created an online presence for myself and share my thoughts and experiences with other great minds out there. I believe that to make my blog or any blog a success , the blogger has to:

  • Create great posts that reflects good writing skills and excellent material by doing an extended research
  • Know their audience…while most people tend to blog about their passion, it might also be beneficial to keep up with the current trends i.e. what people are interested to hear about at a particular point in time
  • Try and relate to readers by adding some personal touches to their posts( humor)
  • Pictures, Pictures,Pictures(People(me for example) tend to be drawn to books and articles with visual aids…LOL)

To get people to read and comment on my blog I would have tried as much as possible to make sure my posts have the above mentioned characteristics . In addition I will try as much as possible to read, comment and follow other peoples blogs (if not for anything else, to keep learning form my colleagues and mentors) and also make proper use of the social media as a way of disseminating information about my blog posts.

Sometime ago while researching online about being a parent, I came across Miscellaneous Mum which I recently found that it was one of the finalists for the Australian Blogs competition 2013. I was excited to read the comments on one of the pages on the blog titled 1001 book challenge which contained a list of books the author, Karen Andrews’s would like to read before she dies. I guess the reason was that I had a similar list in my diary titled Must See Places before I die. Her blog has inspired me in more ways than one, especially sharing my list on this blog which I hope will encourage others to comment and share places they love to see and why or any other kind of bucket list they might have.

I look forward to setting up a page with my Must see Places. feel free to comment on this post and sending me a link to yours if your blog if you have one so I can return the favor.

This contents of this post are just my thoughts s feel free to comment on it. ( I am new at this, so please be nice to me)                                                                                                                                      Emotion-Icon-fanpop-447702_200_200