How Free Speech and Social Media Fit Together

social media viewpointsYou’ve heard it or have seen it posted…

Someone saying they can say whatever they want, post whatever they want and no-one can do anything to them.

As if the First Amendment is their sword and shield. And you can’t do anything about it.

Freedom of speech. Three words that get thrown around and written about so often that what the expression means is more about misinformation than truth.

And misinformation can be detrimental to online professionals as they try to separate the wheat from the chaff and understand a right so important to the foundation of the United States that the founding fathers made it the first amendment to the Constitution to better clarify what rights belong to its citizens.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Source: First Amendment, U.S. Constitution

This article will specifically focus on the portion relating to speech and how this applies to the online community.

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3 Steps to an Effective Social Media Strategy

social media how toDo you have a social media strategy for your business yet?

If you don’t, you could be missing out on game-changing results.

According to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 78% of marketers saw increased traffic with just six hours a week invested in social media.

The businesses that do social media marketing well will see even bigger wins in 2012, as the gap between who “gets it” and who doesn’t grows wider by the minute.

The good news? You don’t need to be everything to everyone anymore. Chances are your strategy will be more effective if you keep it simple.

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This Week in Social Media: The News You Need to Know

social media researchAre you struggling to keep up with what’s happening in social media? We’re happy to introduce a new weekly column where we review the hot social media news items of the week.

To help you keep up-to-date with social media news, here are some of the links that caught our attention this week.

Click through the links to get the full story and then be sure to come back and share your comments below.

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How to Create Social Media Business Guidelines

social media how toSocial media policies and guidelines provide your business a framework to carry out your social media strategy and implement your social media tactics. They can also have a direct impact on the success of your social media endeavors.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to social media guidelines for all your employees and your social media management team, and for crisis management and specific platforms. I’ll also take a look at important considerations for big and small businesses.

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9 Ways to Sell Social Media to the Boss

social media how toConversations are happening online with or without you. This is one of the most frequently used social media sayings. If you’re engaging with social media for your company, it’s almost second nature.

However, there are still many who are struggling to ‘sell’ social media to their executives.  And as Doug Frisbie, Toyota National Marketing Manager says, “The price of inactivity is greater than the risks of anything we’d be doing in social media.”

Let’s explore 9 ways you can make a good case for social media programs.

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The Inside Scoop on How Intel Manages Its Facebook Page

social media interviewsHave you ever wondered how mega-corporations manage their social media initiatives?  Keep reading for a fascinating inside look at Intel Corporation’s sophisticated social media initiatives.

I interviewed Ekaterina Walter, a social media strategist at Intel to better understand how the company is using Facebook.

For the last two years, Ekaterina has been part of Intel’s Social Media Center of Excellence.  In addition to developing social media policy for their 80,000 employees, the center is also responsible for strategy, training and monitoring.  Ekaterina manages Intel’s Facebook page.

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Reaching Millions With Twitter: The Whole Foods Story

social media interviews

Have you ever wondered how a business handles more than a million Twitter fans? Want the inside scoop from the largest retailer on Twitter?

Even if you’re a small business, there’s some great insight to be gained from Marla Erwin, Interactive Art Director for Whole Foods Market. Marla was instrumental in creating Whole Foods’ acclaimed social media program and the results have been phenomenal! For example, in the first year, Twitter.com/Wholefoods gained a million Twitter followers. It has now surpassed 1.75 million people.

If you’re not familiar with Whole Foods, it’s the leading natural and organic food store in the world with nearly 300 locations in North America and the United Kingdom.

Whole Foods Market is the most popular retailer on Twitter and is a leading example of Twitter’s power to build millions of relationships a single customer at a time.  Here are key excerpts from our interview (you can listen to the entire exchange at the end of this article).

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How IBM Uses Social Media to Spur Employee Innovation

social media case studies“Be yourself.”  It’s one of the rules of social media. If you’re blogging, tweeting or Facebooking for business, be real—or you won’t be followed.

Yet, how do you pull off “authentic” while maintaining the company brand message?

It’s tough enough for a small business. What if you’re #2 on Business Week‘s best global brands list, with nearly 400,000 employees across 170 countries?

At IBM, it’s about losing control.

“We don’t have a corporate blog or a corporate Twitter ID because we want the ‘IBMers’ in aggregate to be the corporate blog and the corporate Twitter ID,” says Adam Christensen, social media communications at IBM Corporation.

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