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Guest Post by Janet Laane Effron

Performance, productivity, attitude…  we’d all like those to be first rate in the people we work with (and in ourselves).  But sometimes we get saddled with an individual or a team who are walking definitions of the dead opposite.  Sometimes these people aren’t inherently deadweight, but are talented individuals who have become under-performers.  If that’s the case, the challenge is to
 re-ignite their potential.

My best lessons in managing those situations came from outside the office.

Through various volunteer roles, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a few young people who had a healthy dose of non-motivation and bad attitudes.  Some of them acquired those traits honestly, having spent quite a few years in what would be politely called “non-nurturing environments”.  Some felt worthless and powerless; they didn’t see “change” as something that was possible.   So they walked through life with a mix of bravado and apathy; pouring their energy into defiance and avoidance instead of building their abilities and achievements. When working with them, it was easy to fall into a trap of having every interaction be a point of conflict.  And that wasn’t going to get anyone anywhere.

Some changes were needed. From me.  So I learned to set people up to succeed.  And I became hyper-vigilant about catching them doing things right and doing good things; avoiding the trap of only giving negative feedback; instead finding opportunities to praise and encourage.   That doesn’t mean I relaxed standards; it does mean every effort was made to help them avoid pitfalls while trying to meet those standards.

The changes were undeniable.  The impossible became possible.  New motivations grew and replaced the apathy.  It wasn’t all sunshine and daffodils, but the net result was a growth of ambition and enthusiasm that was well beyond the starting point.

You don’t have to look far to find people who have felt powerless and frustrated in the workplace; who spent too many years working in organizations where innovation and initiative were not welcome.  There are probably some on your team right now who stopped trying long ago, and who drag everyone else down.  Now, they might simply be lazy and annoying and that’s the end of it; those situations have obvious solutions.  But when it’s a talented person whose potential is salvageable, it’s pretty good odds that if you set them up to succeed, and catch them doing good, they just might amaze you with what they achieve.

Yesterday, Facebook abruptly changed its Facebook fan page policy. In summary, you will not be able to have a custom landing tab for your fan page, unless you have 10k fans or the page administrator works with their ads, account manager. If you suspect that that means you will have to pay to have a custom landing page if you have less than 10,000 followers, you are probably correct.

This change was announced, quietly by Facebook with an apology that no mention was made of it sooner. If you do not already have an ads account representative, you can submit a form which looks like this:


Notice the budget amounts listed. It does appear that Facebook is looking to monetize the growing trend of businesses using fan pages.

A lot of people are really upset about this change, in particular Twitter chatter and blogs from businesses that sell the service of making customized Facebook tabs.  My perspective is different.

When asked, I would provide custom landing pages.  However, it is not my sole business model.  I did not actively promote custom landing pages as a way to gain fans.

So I am responding, not out of fear for the future of my business, and not out of the stress of dealing with past clients who may now be upset.

Personally, I’m not really upset by this change. Actually, I’m still very grateful for Facebook and what it has done to change the way that we as businesses communicate with our peers, our vendors and our clients. That has not changed.

If you have strong, engaging content on a regular basis, that shows people that you are listening, are responding, and that you care. Your business page will then get you more fans overall than a flashy well-done graphic that you paid a lot of money for people to see as their first impression.

So to you, small businesses, medium businesses, and large companies that are new to Facebook., not yet at your 10k mark: Remember that every post you make is potentially now a first impression.

Make sure you approach your Facebook strategy with this in mind. 

Hint: if you post content that is informative, educational and engaging, people will willingly share this information on their own . They will be a brand advocate for you as they share your content on their pages.

Which is your ultimate goal: to have the most fans? Or is it to have the most fans who love and are actively involved in sharing your content?

Because I use my social media for business, I have certain subjects that are considered “off-the-wall topics.” One of those subjects is health. I typically don’t post information about my health concerns or anything going on regarding the health of people in my family, other than the occasional headache or cold.

 At the end of last week, near the end of my day, and completely at the end of my rope, a wall in my house assaulted me. Very frustrated, and in pain,. I posted on my Facebook and twitter accounts. I was pretty sure I broke my foot. I put ice on it and went to bed. I received a call at midnight. When I checked my account, I was floored at the number of people who were concerned about my poor little foot. It’s a big deal, but it’s not a big deal. It was a big deal that people cared.

 Ever notice what happens with Facebook on your birthday? There is always a tremendous outpouring, because it is an easy and quick way to show people that you care, even if you forgot till that day. If you use social media for business, Facebook and Twitter are great resources for getting the inside information and personal details.  This helps you to show your compassionate side for your clients and vendors.  Several of the people that commented on my foot are people that I do business with on a regular basis.

They are listening to what I say. They care. This makes me more likely to be a brand advocate for them.

 Take the time to read some posts and comment on the good and the bad going on in the lives of the people that you’ve met. Use social media as a communication tool and stay connected.

Yesterday we noticed a large number of people having their Facebook accounts hacked. This was caused by their clicking on a link to a video sent to them by a trusted friend.

 What they didn’t know or understand was that their friend had already been hacked. The friend did not knowingly send out or post this video.

 So far it appears that this particular hack only affects Facebook, and is just posting a link to the video on your friend’s walls. (The video is graphic in nature. This is another reason that children under 13 years old should not be allowed on FB.)  Not all Facebook hacks are this way; most are much more malicious.

 Most of the time Facebook hacks send out links to videos or pictures that are actually links to a place where a virus can be downloaded to your computer. If you find yourself in the situation, there are a number of things that you can do to help restore your account and your credibility within your community of friends.

 Before I discuss that, however, I would like to discuss some practical preventative measures so that you do not find yourself in this situation

 Be sure that you change your password frequently

  • Do not use the same password for all of your social media accounts
  • Make sure your password is a strong password
  • Limit the amount of third party applications that you allow to share information
  • If you utilize a third-party application such as Hootsuite, or TweetDeck, make sure that you regularly change that password as well
  • Make sure that your virus protection on your computer is up to date, and run frequently
  • Be sure you run additional programs for malware and spyware on a regular basis
  • Make sure you have an IT person in your contact list before your computer is hit with a virus

 Why that last line? Once your computer has been infected with a virus, often times, programs that you use for prevention and detection are not enough to remove a virus from your computer. Many of them have now evolved to the point that they disable those programs. If that happens, you have to remove your hard drive and place it in a secondary machine in order to remove the viruses. Most people do not have the resources in which to perform this task. This is not a service that you want to look for when you’re in a crisis situation. Also, I highly recommend computer maintenance on a regular basis. Just as with a person’s health, there are a number of things that you can do on a regular basis to ensure that you are less likely to get a virus.

 If you don’t currently have an IT professional in your contact list, we recommend Nomad Technology Group.

Listed below are instructions posted by Mary Biever in response to yesterday’s attack:

What You Can do to Prevent and Restore Your Account and Credibility

Prevention (for all users):
A. Go to account, account settings, and password and change your password. Logout and log back in.
B. Go to account, account settings, and account security and click the check box. This will notify you when a new computer accesses your account. (This step is open on some FB accounts and not others; I think it is a new feature.)
C. If you use Hootsuite or other such products, update your password for Facebook on them.
D. Post as a status: “Do not click on any Optical Illusions Link. If you see it, the person posting has been hacked.” Contact them ASAP and tell them. Also contact the people whose walls had the video posted on it and tell them.

If the Optical Illusions Link appears on your wall:
E. Hover on right hand corner and click “Remove.” Remove the link. Do not click on it.
F. Go through steps A through D.

If you get hacked:
G. Do step A pronto.
H. Go to Account, Privacy Settings, Post by me. Click on the drop down arrow and select custom. Set your custom feed to show “only me.” Then, temporarily, your wall will be unavailable.
I. Use this time to try to discern via news feeds where the link was posted.
J. If you are able to remove the link from your friends’ walls, do so (see step E). If not, contact your friends whose walls were hit personally (via telephone) and explain what happened – explain to them how to remove the link. You will need to scan your friends’ walls to look for the post. (Hint – talk to a trusted friend with multiple mutual friends of yours.  Ask them to check their news feed.)
K. When you are comfortable problem has been contained, return settings on step H to what you had before.
L. Follow steps B through D.

Finally, the best defense is a good offense. If you are using Facebook as a way to engage your customers and encourage your employees to do the same, don’t let attacks like this deter your efforts.  If you know how to use Facebook well, you can prevent hack attacks like this and handle them if they do happen.

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