Before we begin, just to let you know these slides are available for viewing online. Follow this link, which I’ll share again at the end.
I’m going to start with a question. Put your hand up if you have A blog Keep your hand up, and also put your hand up if you have a twitter account A LinkedIn personal profile? If you use Facebook? Now keep your hand up if you’ve ever said anything that you have later regretted?
Now there’s the problem. We are all using it, personally, professionally, corporately, but it can be a minefield. Today I’m going to talk to you about simple ways that you can be safe, sensible and professional online, and in particular when using Social Media.
Why social media? Let’s begin with the definition which might explain. What is SM? SM is people having conversations, and publishing, on the internet. The conversations make the web different, credible, dynamic and evolving. The publishing means that today, we are the media, and we make the decisions about what we share. Previously companies could control their brand very closely, they had control over the means of communication. Now that is no longer true.
Here are just a few of those places where people are publishing and or having conversations online. The top ten by number of active UK users are across the top two lines. But of course there are thousands of different places, all of which can be found via search. Whatever you say anywhere can be found.
What’s been happening. Four Big Platforms Biggest by UK Users Facebook: 32,000,000 Twitter: 20,000,000 YouTube: 19,100,000 LinkedIn: 19,000,000 Instagram: 14,000,000 Snapchat: 13,600,000 Google+ 12,600,000 Pinterest: 10,300,000 Tumblr 9,000,000 Reddit 6,600,000
In all aspects of our life, social media has the potential to influence what happens. A few examples of areas social media impacts in business. SM can affect common areas, and areas we thought of as separate. As you can see, there’s clearly a theme running through these. It is about people. .
As an organisation with a lot of people like SPRA wants to encourage the proper use of social media by its members, not only to benefit the construction as a whole, but also to help you participate in the use of social media generally in a way that is beneficial to the individual. And of course as companies we need to make sure we use our online activity safely and securely, but also professionally.
So I have been invited to help you look at how to use social media, in the context of the risks and the opportunities. Some of what we discuss today may be known to you, you may have thought about these issues and be happy with things as they are. Alternatively you may have not thought about them before, or you may not use social media. However I hope that everyone will get something positive out of the session today, be it things you learn, things you need to do or change, or things you can share with others.
Here’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve found on how to behave as an individual on Social Media. It is known as the 12 word social media policy. It was written for medical professionals but works just as well for all people. I’ve taken it apart to look at each of the six pieces of advice, and as it seems rather negative, provided six positive alternatives.
Always a good idea not to lie, but online lies can be so easily found out by using search.
Here’s a good example of a lie. Not Trump – in this case he never said this in 1998! The way I can tell you that is thanks to Snopes. Snopes is a website that fact checks. It is crowd sourced so you can contribute, and it provides a record of its research. Google anything suspect and add ‘snopes’ So rather than lying, tell the truth whenever you can, or don’t say anything.
Instead, Online, you should Be yourself. And if you can’t be completely anonymous. But •no-one can be completely anonymous… it usually backfires. Anonymity on social media is pretty much a myth. There is no such thing as an anonymous account. I’m often asked about anonymous accounts on twitter, because it seems that people can be anonymous there in ways they can’t easily on Facebook, or Linkedin. To be truly anonymous on twitter you need a completely anonymous name and username, a proxy internet connection, disabled geo-location, and only tweet from a masked IP address. Then you need to not say anything that in any shape or form will identify you. When it comes to social media, it is much easier and better to be yourself online. In fact, I think it’s a positive characteristic of social media that people tend to be themselves.
What about being more than one person? Many platforms prevent you from having more than one account (Linkedin), others discourage it. But some let you have several accounts, like twitter. All you need is a different email address for each account. Remember however that if people are searching for you, they’ll find the most active account first, and might not think to look for another This happened when I shared a speaking platform with a woman who is Global Social Media Relations Manager for EY. I found her personal account not her business account.
The business account had fewer followers (500 as opposed to 3000) Think about why you’re doing it, and remember people will find you via search
Question. A company offers to identify the IP addresses of everyone who visits your website, for a small fee. Do you accept? 1. No they will contact us 2. No it’s illegal 3. Yes it’s useful to know 4. Yes our sales team can ring them. It isn’t illegal to look up peoples IP addresses, but it is argued to be against the GDPR to collect this information without permission, so you may need to obtain explicit consent.
The answer is 1: No: they will contact us. And the reason for this is that not only is it an invasion of peoples’ privacy, it is also counterproductive. If you’ve ever tried to doorstep an architect you’ll know how difficult it is. More than that I know architects who make up people who supposedly in their offices, to palm people off on, so they can stop sales people bothering them. Remember the adage ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you’. There are many ways to gain the trust of a customer, and doorstepping them isn’t one of them.
What we are talking about here is the second piece of advice; Don’t Pry. One of my abiding memories of my childhood was Kaa, the snake in the Jungle Book. Kaa hypnotises Mowgli and sends him off to sleep in order to have him for dinner. I’ve never liked hypnotists! Remember that people like their personal space, and they like their privacy. When having conversations online respect other people’s privacy. They will offer information if they want to. Don’t send people unsolicited private messages. This is spam and can get you blocked. If you want to make a conversation private, take it offline.
If you’re using social media, you need to Protect your privacy and your private information online. Assume that everything you share online is searchable, so don’t share things that you don’t want known. You should also check and adjust the privacy settings of all the platforms you use.
Here are some guidelines for checking your privacy settings on Facebook. I’ll be sharing these slides after the event so you’ll be able to follow along with the advice when you have a chance, no need to take copious notes now. We need to look at several things;Your friends General privacy settings Protecting Personal Information Changing the visibility of your content and updates
Check your Friends list. Are they really your friends? Only ‘friend’ people on Facebook you trust. They can tag you in posts and photographs. I use different lists to identify particular friend types such as ‘close friends’ and ‘Family’. But Don’t friend people you don’t trust. If you don’t want your list of friends to be visible you can change the privacy settings on your friends page.
Really simple introduction – privacy basics. Or Facebook Privacy shortcuts, or see the whole lot via the settings. Let me show you a couple of things to look at
Next you need to adjust the privacy of your personal information. See this on the ‘About’ page from your profile. Each section has adjustable visibility. Don’t share any information on Facebook you don’t want in the public domain. Decide if you want to be found or not.
Fourthly you need to look at the privacy of your content updates – the things you share on Facebook. When you post an update on Facebook you can choose who can see it by choosing from the dropdown menu. The choice defaults until next time you use it. I try and only share with Friends and limit my friends.
What about things you’ve already done – can you go back and change who can see them? Yes you can. Firstly use your Activity Log to find out what you have done (and whether it is visible to ‘public’ ‘friends’ or ‘friends of friends’) You will notice that if you comment on someone else’s post and it is public, your comment will be public too. You can edit posts individually here.But no one is going to have time to do that!
If you want to edit the visibility of all your existing facebook posts in one go, You can use the ‘Limit Past Posts’ tool to turn all past posts to Friends only. It won’t affect tagging, but is a quick way (if you have a small trusted group of friends) to limit what can be seen. The point of this is to show you that privacy settings are incredibly granular and complex
Here are a set of links to privacy settings and best practice for three of the top social media platforms. Take a look at what is available for each platform you use. It is worth mentioning that all social media platforms collect data on you, and reading the T&Cs is a good idea.
So that’s Don’t Lie and Don’t Pry. Now we Have Don’t Cheat. There isn’t a short cut to a large network. Don’t attempt to game the system, buy followers, get rich quick. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Watch out for Cheats There are plenty of people who will offer you deals too good to be true. Remember to check out other people’s credibility, or the credibility of what they say using search. Expose cheats in public, and if you’re not confident in doing this, work with others behind the scenes. Don’t handle it alone if you don’t have to. Three types of cheats to be aware of
Spam (not just emails but also) useless comments on blog posts used to generate backlinks to websites for commercial purposes. Turn on comment moderation completely or to block posts with more than one link. Use spam filter tools to detect spam and either bin it or make it pending so you can bin it.
A Troll is traditionally one who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument. Read about trolls on the link. Don’t confuse customer complaints with trolls Develop a strategy for reflection and countermeasures NB Trolling is VERY RARE in construction blogs and social media accounts – people can’t be bothered! But it is very prevalent in other areas such as politics. If someone is harassing or threatening you, block them and report them to the site administrator – Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook all have blocking and reporting procedures now.
If you get private messages offering you things that are too good to be true, or sharing a link that takes you to a sign in page, its Phishing. The person who sent you the message probably doesn’t know – go and check if they’ve posted. Don’t sign in, Inform the user publically and they can take steps to remove the hacker from their account.
Q2:You wake up to the news that a building you worked on is on fire and people are trapped. Do you… Go back to sleep – it can wait until morning. Ring your webmaster to take down the case study pages. Issue a holding statement on your website and social channels.
This slide needs no words.
As soon as the Grenfell Tower fire happened, people were looking it up online. One of the first things I found was blog posts by the residents association complaining of the fire risk during the refurbishment. The other thing people found were case study pages on the websites of companies who worked on the project
So we come to ‘Can’t Delete’. Anything published online can easily be captured before you delete it. Anyone can take a screenshot of what you share online.
Google will cache once its spiders have reached your site, and these links will remain for several days even if you delete the page. The WaybackMachine is an internet archive which people were able to use to find past copies of deleted pages. Within 24 hours these cached and deleted pages were being published online.
The internet passes data from computer to computer, unencrypted data can be found. Freedom of expression doesn’t mean freedom from the consequences.
The nature of this tragedy is such that it was immediately going to get huge airtime, as it should. But not just the main headlines, the details too. David Lammy MP has 380,000 followers. But this tweet was retweeted 5,500 times, so you can pretty much guarantee that everyone on twitter in the UK had the opportunity to see it. And that’s 20 million people.
This is a Pinterest board I made at the time of the deleted pages and the pages put up, eventually, to replace them. Everyone is proud of the work they do. And we should promote it. Indeed I make most of my living by writing about clients projects. But don’t think you can wipe history clean.
Large corporations tend to use a ‘Triage’ system to help their staff identify and manage online conflicts and crises. Here is a simple example from a US digital marketing researcher. The US Air Force have been monitoring blogs for decades and have a similar system they introduced in 2006.
The company who had a good crisis management strategy was Celotex. Irrespective of fault, they immediately published a statement as soon as it was made clear their products were involved, and then kept the information coming in a controlled way. No one can hope to emerge unscathed from such an incident, but you can do the right thing by people.
So before you put something online, Think twice, you’ll only need to post once.This not only applies to a huge issue like Grenfell, but every post you make. Before you respond to someone online, Have a thick skin, don’t react quickly, take a deep breath. Ask yourself – For whom am I posting this? Is it for my target audience?Is it appropriate to all ages? Does it add value to the conversation?Would I be happy for my mother to see it?
Q3:You’re writing an article about the use of Single Ply membrane and need some illustrations. Do you… Use photographs you’ve taken yourself of projects and your own drawings Go to a manufacturer’s website and use their images Go on Google Image Search and use them.
And don’t steal. Don’t pass someone else’s work off as your own. Don’t lift someone else’s content – you’ll be found out. Instead, learn about the culture of attribution that exists online. Its what makes blogs work to drive traffic to your website, through the use of backlinks.
Bloggers are not immune to legal action. So here are some tips for copyright good practice, but bear in mind I’m not a lawyer.
Firstly, make and use your own stuff if you can. Work you create yourself, you own the copyright
There’s a particular issue with site photographs. If you take a photograph of a building from the street (public space) you have the right to use it If you take a photograph on site, you should ask the site owner for permission. If it is a construction site the main contractor usually has control. Thereafter it is the building owner. If you employ a photographer, make sure you have a license to use the photographs in the way you want
All the photographs I’m using today are Creative Commons – that is they are made available by the owners on a license if I credit them – hence the links on each slide. I source them via Flickr.com but you can also find images on Wikipedia which has a commons images database.
What we are talking about here is building a reputation for yourself as a trustworthy individual. Use the system to differentiate yourself in your areas of specialism. Talk about what you want people to ask you about. Don’t be like the noise, writing about the same stuff as everyone else. Find your niche and become known for it.
And lastly, don’t reveal. This is one of my favourite signs – there is one in North Essex where I live too.
Don’t disclose confidential information on social platforms. Not yours, Not your friends’, Not your employer’s
You can choose what you share, make wise choices.
This is a photograph I took whilst I was at an internal product launch in Paris for one of my clients. At the time I took the photograph (which was permitted) the products were not publically launched, so I did not share it. I share a lot of photographs, but I choose which ones I share. Make wise choices, you can always do it later when the time is right.
Here’s a salutory tale about keeping secrets. Recognise this person? It is a stunning profile picture isn’t it? Her name is Charlotte Proudman. September 2016. Connected on Linkedin to a senior solicitor who sent her a rather over complimentary message. She took offense at this (as is her right) but then she did something really interesting. She posted a screen shot of the conversation on twitter.
HR and Comms meet in social media. There are no silos. Everyone who works for you has to realise that everything they write on social media is visible – even if only to one other person, so they need to bear this in mind. What is the thing that everyone has to keep secret on social media? (Their Passwords)
The most important thing you can keep secret is your passwords. How many of you use the same password for more than one website? Get a password manager. This is what I use, its called LastPass. It creates very secure passwords and stores them very securely. You then only need one to get in your vault, but it can be a very secure, yet easy to remember one (mine is two film titles back to back, with spaces). Lastpass also teaches you good password management, and on a browser it is free.
What I’ve told you about may seem a bit daunting, but its actually quite simple, and there is such an opportunity out there for you to learn more about people you want to work with
There are people looking overtly (and more subtly) for contractors, technical advice and supply.
There are people who want to talk to you using twitter
And there are loads of opportunities for you to listen in, and learn about the type of people you need to reach, so that you’ll know how to talk to them.
So to conclude, here are my positive pieces of advice. Be yourself – don’t lie Protect your privacy – and respect others Look out for Cheats – and don’t cheat yourself Think Twice before you post – because you can’t delete Be a Trustworthy individual – and people will seek you out Keep secrets – including your passwords – safe.
Avoid a Crisis: How to be Safe, Sensible and Professional Online
Red Rush by San Diego Shooter
Avoid a CRISIS:
how to be safe, sensible and
Using Social Media Professionally
View these slides:
View these slides here:
Answering Questions with Sli.do
• Visit sli.do
• Enter the event code XXXXX
• Choose Polls
A company offers to identify the IP
addresses of everyone who visits
your website, for a small fee.
Do you accept?
1.No - they will contact us
2.No - it’s illegal
3.Yes - it’s useful to know
4.Yes - our sales team can ring them.
We have an email
address we have
specifically set up
to blacklist cold
Caine, Architectural Designer
You wake up to the news that a
building you worked on is on fire and
people are trapped. Do you…
1. Go back to sleep – it can wait until
2. Ring your webmaster to take down the
case study pages.
3. Issue a holding statement on your website
and social channels.
You’re writing an article about the
use of Single Ply membrane and
need some illustrations. Do you…
1. Use photographs you’ve taken yourself of
projects and your own drawings
2. Go to a manufacturer’s website and use
3. Go on Google Image Search and use
Protect your Privacy
Look out for Cheats
Source: Farris Timimi, Mayo Clinic mattimattila
Red Rush by San Diego Shooter
Using Social Media Professionally
• Don’t Lie: Be Yourself
• Don’t Pry: Protect your Privacy
• Don’t Cheat: Look out for Cheats
• Can’t Delete: Think Twice
• Don’t Steal: Be Trustworthy
• Don’t Reveal: Keep Secrets
View these slides here: