Professional cyclists need to accept they’re going to get abuse on social media, according to the general manager of Team Sky, Sir Dave Brailsford.
In an exclusive interview with Status Social – and the Tour de France just days away – Sir Dave says cyclists need to adapt to criticism over networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
He also reckons cyclists should avoid using social media immediately after a race but says Team Sky do not have a social media policy.
Read the full interview with Sir Dave, recorded at the UK’s newest velodrome, Derby Arena:
Status Social: Sometimes cyclists and other sports people get very affected by what’s posted on social media, especially Twitter. How should they handle that?
Sir Dave Brailsford: Well it’s like everything in life, you adapt to it. The whole point of society is that people have different views and that is the way it is. I think you have got to embrace that.
It is the diversity of thinking and the diversity of opinion that makes it an exciting place to live. Therefore you have to take the good with the bad. You don’t let it get to you too much, you don’t take too much notice of it and you just move on.
Status Social: Do you encourage the riders to use social media at Team Sky? Is there a policy?
Sir Dave Brailsford: No, we don’t have a policy as such – it’s pretty obvious some of the dos and don’ts, it goes without saying. But I think it is important that people have their own voice and they can air their own views.
Social media is a good thing; it is a healthy thing. As long as social media isn’t misused and sometimes straight after a race when everybody’s all fired up, it probably isn’t the best time to be tweeting. But as long as everyone is sensible, I think it is a great medium and it is to be embraced.
Status Social: You’ve been involved in cycling for a long time. What kind of an impact do you think social media has had on cycling?
Sir Dave Brailsford: The impact of social media has been massive on cycling and within society. We are all adapting and learning all the time. One of the greatest benefits is that it has allowed cycling and all sports to have a dialogue with fans directly. It has changed the way we think about communication.
Instead of having one-way communication, now we can have the opportunity of having a dialogue which I think is very, very important. I think we are all trying to learn very, very quickly and move and adapt to see how we can all benefit the most to use social media and get the greatest things out of social media, like fan engagement, particularly for teens but also from an educational point of view, to promote the opportunities that exists.
From a cycling point-of-view, here at Derby Arena we are using social media so we can tap into young people to let them know about opportunities that exist here. How can they go about getting down here? What do they do when they get here? All those things to make it easy. I think that is how we use social media these days, to benefit everybody in the community.Read More
Blurred LinkedIn background images, dodgy-looking Twitter headers, unforgivable Facebook cover photos – we’ve all seen them but as a business owners/marketeers it’s vital we look good on social media.
And with the social networks regularly changing their photo sizes, it’s so difficult to keep on top of the latest dimensions. So it’s great, therefore, when somebody does the job for you.
Stand up Daniella Franco from SumAll and take a bow. Daniella has created a beautiful infographic which gives us (almost) everything we need to know. So there’s little more to say than, enjoy….
Leadership coach Peter Anderton took part in Status Social’s Blogging for Business workshop. His ‘homework’ was to blog about his experience….
Status Social’s Mark Saxby is passionate about social media. I am passionate about leadership. Couldn’t be more different? Wrong.
His ‘Blogging for Business’ workshop was an eye opener. I didn’t know the first thing about blogging and even now my ‘L plates’ are still firmly attached. But so many of his messages I already knew – what I didn’t know was what they had to do with blogging. I thought they were about leadership. Here are just three:
Write as you would speak. Share your emotions. Like right now I’m thinking – why would anyone read my blog? I’m not a journalist. I’m not a Harvard professor. I’m just some bloke who knows how to help knackered leaders get their mojo back! But I do know that if any leader is ever going to step out of the management zone and into the leadership zone the first step is to be real. A leader who is willing to be a little vulnerable goes a long way. You don’t have to have all the answers. In fact if you do how will your team ever develop?
Know your reason
Why are you blogging? Is it website traffic you want? Brand awareness? Are you after clients? Do you simply want to share your musings with the world? I had no reason – I just thought it was something I should do. Now I have worked out my reason. No more ‘I must write a book someday’ – this blog is where it starts.
So how about your team – do they have a reason why? Because if they don’t, you will only see a shadow of what they could deliver. In the words of Simon Sinek – Start with WHY.
Look for the sweet spot. Write about things you are passionate about. Write about things that your target audience are passionate about. It’s not one or the other it HAS to be both. Truly great leaders work in the sweet spot between things they love doing and the things that need to be done. If you can’t find the sweet spot then look harder – or go and do something else! You won’t reach your full potential without it.
As for your team – align their passions with the work to be done and watch them catch fire. You will double your results – and double engagement. Free of charge.
So was it worth it, when I knew it already? Absolutely – because despite my fears, Mark has unlocked what I already know and pointed it in the right direction. If that isn’t leadership, what is?
There’s no doubt that there have been some very passionate views expressed on social media during this General Election run up – including from businesses. But is that really such a good idea?
It was particularly noticeable during the leaders’ live debates on TV. One by one, people running business Twitter accounts were revealing their political tastes – whether through retweets or tweeting about their views themselves.
One business, for example, which had just received some very public funding from the Labour-run council in Derby, was nailing its colours to the Conservative mast in a series of tweets. A Staffordshire company boss was meanwhile arguing with another business owner why they should vote in a certain way.
Then there’s been company employees updating their Facebook and Twitter accounts with their political views. People working for councils, in schools, for businesses working for local authorities – would their bosses really want them talking about such things on public networks? Is it appropriate?
We live in a free world where everyone should be able to voice political opinions – but where is the line between free speech and reputation-damage? Would you be put off doing business with a company which tweeted its support of UKIP? What about a business owner who supported or criticised Ed Milliband or David Cameron on Facebook or LinkedIn?
What do you think? Is it a good idea for a business or its staff to reveal its political stance on social media? Tell us below.Read More
Are you liable if one of your employees writes something bad on social media? As the Carphone Warehouse found, the answer is definitely ‘yes’.
By guest blogger Liz Strama, HR specialist.
Have you ever been fraped? That’s when your ‘friends’ access your social media account and write something embarrassing. That’s what happened to Abraham Otomewo. He was a manager in a Carphone Warehouse in London when two of his colleagues took his mobile phone without his permission and posted a comment on his Facebook page that said:
“Finally came out of the closest. I am gay and proud”.
Otomewo is not gay and did not believe that his colleagues thought he was gay. So when he was sacked by Carphone Warehouse on an unrelated matter, he brought up the fraping incident at his unfair dismissal tribunal.
The tribunal accepted he was “embarrassed” and “distressed” by the Facebook post. The tribunal described the actions of his colleagues as an “unnecessary and unwarranted intrusion into his private life on a public space”.
Regardless of who had posted the comment, the tribunal ruled that Carphone Warehouse was liable for its employees’ conduct.
So should business owners worry about what their employees are doing on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter? Clearly the answer is yes. Employers are liable if their employees write something derogatory on social media sites about someone linked to the business (another employee, a customer, a supplier etc.). Even if the employee writes the remarks outside of business hours and off business premises, the employer can still be liable.
So how can you protect yourself? The easiest way is to start with a social media policy that is given to all employees. Your policy should cover all aspects of how you expect employees to behave. Even if the employee is not making reference to your business, they still need to behave in an acceptable manner on social media.
As an employer, you have responsibilities and you have to protect your reputation. Like it or not, your employees are an extension of your company image, brand and reputation. Comments they make can be linked back to your business and, in extreme cases, may significantly damage the business.
However, if an employer has a social media policy in place, episodes like this could be avoided as the employees would know it was against their employment rules to post such comments.
The message to employers is clear – protect yourselves by having clear policies in place and don’t let your employees risk ruining the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build up!
Liz Strama is a HR specialist with HR Protected in Burton-Upon-Trent in Staffordshire. You can find out more about HR Protected here.Read More
“If I go on social media, my customers will use it as a way to bad-mouth me.”
It’s one of the most common reasons companies tell us they have for resisting the jump onto Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Business owners fear if they create a social media account, they will be faced with a deluge of moans and groans from disgruntled people.
Is that a reason for not being on social media?
Well no, but there are some important things to think about first.
The most important point is that if you’re not on social media, how do you know what people are saying about you?
When somebody makes a complaint, instead of writing it on your Facebook page or directing a tweet to you, they are letting their friends and followers know instead.
So when it comes to you sorting out the problem, you can’t. Because you don’t even know they’re upset. And what’s better – a dissatisfied customer who you can try and turn around, or a dissatisfied customer who tells everyone he knows how bad you are – with no chance of reply?
The other point to consider is, how many complaints are you expecting? If you fear it’s going to be a lot, then you need to think seriously before entering the social world. Who’s going to respond to the complaints? Have they got the right skills? How quickly will you reply? What will the process be?
They may be difficult questions to answer but that shouldn’t put you off social media. If you want to be seen as a caring, responsive company, then there is no option but to be on social. It’s just like every element of business – don’t do it unless you’re going to do it right.
We like Bplans flowchart (below) which helps when it comes to responding on social media. What do you think of it?
And if you’d like help taking those first steps into the social media world – and doing it properly – then give us a call on 01332 776910 or 0115 828 8242. We can share the many stories of how we’ve tackled reputation management issues on behalf of our clients!Read More