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The Business Case for the Social Media Club Des Moines

SMCDSM logo I was on Facebook the other day, stirring up some political conversation. I happen to really love asking provocative questions on my page. It's part of who I am, but I never bring up a topic that I'm not prepared to defend. I guess I never listened to Sister Rachael - my grade school principal - who told me that "ladies don't discuss controversial issues."

Imagine my surprise when someone who was not my friend chimed in to the conversation with some extremely offensive remarks. I don't mind a little smack-talk among friends, but this person was not my friend. Nor was he characterizing my views properly, and was clearly belligerent.

I glanced at his Facebook profile, where, lo-and-behold... I saw that he plainly listed his occupation and his company name. Turns out, he was an agent for a very large and very prominent insurance company here in Central Iowa!

That made me think of two things. The first? I wonder if that company has a social media policy? The second? I am never buying anything from that company!

A majority of companies are certainly aware of social media. I'd even venture to say that many are either already active in social media or exploring their options. But there are obviously gaps in knowledge. That's where the Social Media Club Des Moines (SMCDSM) comes in.

The SMCDSM is a group of Central Iowans who share an interest in social media from multiple perspectives. Some are responsible for their company's social media efforts. Some just want to meet new people who are interested in social media. Others are newcomers to social media who want to learn more. And a few are experts who are willing to share their time and talent to teach others. You can join the group by visiting the website.

The club is just entering its second year of existence. I'm honored to be serving as president this year and along with a great board of directors, we're tying to make the club a resource for the business community. In the next few weeks, we'll be planning some events that will specifically cater to the Des Moines business community. I'd love to use this forum to get your input on what you'd like the SMCDSM to address on your behalf.

Please comment on this post and let's get a discussion started.

Based on my experience with my "non-Facebook friend," I'd say a lunch-n-learn on corporate social media policy might be in order!

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Comments

Why should you blame the company for that person's personal actions outside of work? That doesn't seem right to me. And by the way - please use spell check, for pete's sake. I counted 4 errors.

Nice perspective Claire. As you know I'm also a big fan of SMCDSM and the positive impact our group is already having on Central Iowa. What's cool is that most of us so-called experts are still figuring out the landscape of social media. It's not slowing down much, so it's great to have this group to form real in-person relationships which are more valuable than a secret handshake.

Hey, Whatev. Thanks for your comment. I don't necessarily blame the company for that person's error in judgment. I was just pointing out that social media training is a crucial part of every employee's orientation to the company. Employees should be afforded training to teach them what could get them and the company into trouble. A short social media policy could be as short as "be professional" or as many as several pages long. Agents are also covered by FINRA rules that are very strict.

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