I own a Social Media Agency and do Social Media for people in the Legal field. Why, you may ask did I choose that niche? It’s simple, really. I worked as an English<>Spanish interpreter for about 13 years in San Antonio, TX. I worked in the courts and in Law offices, primarily. I worked with other interpreters, court reporters, office staff and paralegals. I really enjoyed the work. It was challenging and exhausting, but rewarding. Except for those days when the cases involved loss of loved ones or abused children, it was interesting work and everyday was different.
Then I worked for a Holocaust Library. It belonged to my father and I had to find it’s next home. I learned a lot about that time in history, about marketing and rebranding. About fundraising and event planning. But in this Library we had a theft and I was responsible for pursuing the case even after my father’s passing. There was also a lot of case law surrounding that time in history as evidenced by the Nuremberg Trials among others. The Library now resides at CU-Boulder.
Then I moved to Colorado. I started my Social Media Agency (Social Media Languages) because I had been self-employed for all these years and I wanted to pursue Social Media Marketing. So I took some formal classes, to add to my Certificates in Marketing and Business. Now I work with attorneys, interpreters, paralegals and office staff to help them maintain or create their Social Media footprint. Having so much experience and having been around Law so much, it just seemed like a natural segway for me.
I love what I do. I know I’m able to help lawyers and their staff unravel Social Media Marketing and create communities around their brand and their name. I know I’m able to help them write their stories and stay within their ethical boundaries. I know I’m able to help them understand goals and ROI in Social Media. But above all of this, I know I’m making a difference and I love that!
If you need help unraveling your Social Media and creating a community around your Brand, or you want to do some Facebook or LinkedIn ads, or you just need a more solid presence on Social Media, I can help. Reach out to me and let’s have a conversation.
In part 1, I discussed and gave some examples of real world situations that have happened to people I know. Joel & Felicia have both had their content, photos and blogs reproduced by someone claiming their content as their own. Read it here.
In Part II, I will give you some tools and guidelines to keeping it Ethical. We all have amazing gifts to give this world. We all have talents and abilities that we can offer to others to make life easier. Tap into these resources that live within YOU!
Blogging is really about sharing real-life stories and experiences. It can be about how you’ve grown or transformed. How you’ve learned or taught. How you’ve experienced something for the first time or shared your gift with someone else. It can be a way to share a passion or project. Or what you believe in and why. It can be the story of how you got to TODAY, or what your goals are for tomorrow. It can be about how marshmallows look like clouds or how many eyes flies have! As long as it comes from YOU.
We all want the world to see our words. But the key to successful Blogging and Storytelling, is that the ideas, words, emotions, opinions and experiences be yours and yours alone.
Sharing your world with others will open the door to others sharing their world with you. This is how we connect, communicate and support each other. This is how we share each other’s stories, through connections and establishing trust.
Write your story today! We all want to hear it. But keep it Ethical, please. Here are some guidelines to help you:
I like to believe most of us have a pretty good handle on what is right and wrong, And we know when we are doing something we shouldn’t, let me outline some simple things to keep in mind when blogging:
Blogging is a fun activity and can lead to a lucrative business if that’s the way you want to go. But keep in mind that the internet is very unforgiving. If you mess up and put content out there that is not yours, and you market it as yours, you will get found out. And once you burn that bridge, you can not rebuild it. If ever you doubt that you’re doing the right thing, perhaps ask for an opinion from someone or cover your a… (CYA) by not doing it!
Did you miss Part I of this article? Find it here.
Do you have a tip or story to share? I want to hear it, share it below.
“Does anybody know of any groups, resources, or websites that focus on ethics in blogging and social media? The only ones I'm finding have to do with blogging about ethical products, but not code of conduct as a blogger, content producer, or social media "influencer." Thanks in advance!
I’m a member of a Facebook Group where we had another member post this question. It’s a great question because it is a thing (trend we are noticing today, but been around since the dawn of time) on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms where people are posting content that doesn’t belong to them!
Before we really dive into this, let’s clarify some terminology:
Ethics: moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity. Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
I won’t mince words, this is stealing people! And not cool at all. Charles Caleb Colton said “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” If you think about the meaning here, as applied to Social Media, it could be, following people you admire and developing a relationships with them. Show them your authenticity and find ways to engage in conversations. Then. ask for their PERMISSION to repost their content, giving proper credit and linking back to their site or pages, or asking them for a quote that you can include in a Blog you’re writing. This is flattery, and we all LOVE to be recognized for what we have done or created.
I asked my friend Joel Comm who is an influencer in the Live Streaming World, (also author, speaker, entrepreneur & consultant,) if he’s encountered this problem. This is what he said:
“is it a trend?”
“I think people have always ripped others off”
“don't steal other people's' stuff.”
“I've seen people rip my stuff off for 20 years”
“I get a google alerts where one of my books is being shared, an article has been republished my photos are being swiped”
I also talked to my friend Felicia Slattery who is a brilliant author, speaker, consultant and coach asking her if I could repost an update on Facebook written on 2/23/17 where she said this:
“What's in the air today? Some advertiser is advertising a "signature speech," (not as an affiliate for me) which I own the legal trademark on and have since 2007. And then a little while ago in my inbox I got a promo for a "speaker sheet" with the exact copy from my sales page (and blog post promoting the same thing). When I replied and said thanks for promoting my one sheets, the list owner replied back and said she wasn't and that her copywriter had written the email. Ummm... nope, I wrote it in 2014.
Seriously, humanity, we need to step it up. I'm pretty sure thou shalt not steal is still in the top 10 of things not to do, right? Sigh…”
We see what we want to see. And today we chose to see using others’ content and not giving credit, as a problem. Joel keeps his finger on the pulse of what’s happening in his world by using Google Alerts. But it’s been happening all along. However, for some (inexplicable) reason we are just now cluing into this (again?).
In Part II of this article, you can read more about some of the steps you can take to be sure you are staying Ethical in the Blogging World. Click here to see it!
Do you have a tip or story to share? I want to hear it, share it below.
A Social Media policy is a set of rules or guidelines to take the guesswork out of what is appropriate to post on Social Media regarding your Brand. It is also a guideline for employees who have set their “Works at (Your Company Name), what is acceptable to post on their personal pages.
The goal of a Social Media Policy is to protect your Brand in the digital space. Not to suffocate creativity.
So let’s take a quick look at the top 5 things you need to have in place before you can begin to create your Social Media Policy:
I get this question often, and it is a wonderful way to lead into what I do and more importantly WHY I do what I do. Social Media Languages was born from the culmination and cultivation of my life experiences. I chose the name for several reasons. Social Media is what I love and what I do, but Languages came from the fact that I am bilingual, each social media channel has a different “language” and audience and Ethics has multiple languages simply because it is subject to interpretation. So the word Languages can mean many things. What does it mean to you?
Before I started this business, I was the steward to the largest privately held Holocaust Library. It was located in San Antonio, TX and my job with this library was big. The originator, collector and historian who started this library was on a mission to combat Holocaust Denial. He was well regarded in the Jewish Community around the world and had made a name for himself with scholars, other historians and professors. He was well traveled, had been to many of the concentration camps, was a published by Oxford Press and one of the most interesting and eccentric people I’d ever known. He was passionate about gaining more knowledge, human rights, food, wine, friends and above all family. This man was my father. He passed in 2011 and I took over his beloved library.
During my three and a half years, I rebranded the Library, conducted fundraisers, spoke at numerous events, taught about tolerance and the Holocaust to children and adults, worked with The San Antonio Library and San Antonio Library Foundation to start a yearly event on The Holocaust, but the ultimate goal was to find a new home to house this incredible and amazingly large collection and for it to stay together as one collection. You see, this Library had more than twenty thousand books and more than a half million documents and photographs! It was nearly three thousand square feet of material. At the end of my time with the Library, I successfully got it donated and moved to Colorado University in Boulder. It was one of my greatest accomplishments! I will always be eternally grateful to all those who helped make this happen!
It was because of my experience with this Library, and my upbringing that I decided to make a commitment to #EthicsInSocialMedia. What I see posted day in and day out and the lasting effects of these posts, comments, tweets, pictures, videos and memes is why I spend my days teaching and educating on #DoingTheRightThing. I want to see companies achieve success and know, like and trust by helping them create strategies that are Ethical and Responsible and not damaging to their brands. I create Policies for their employees to guide them on company expectations in the Digital space so they too can be on-board with the company's strategy and protect the Brand. I educate our children to manage their digital footprint in a responsible way, and not lose out on opportunities because they made a bad choice by posting inappropriate things online. I want to see a world that is finding ways to reach out and repair itself using good judgement, corporate social responsibility and good business ethics.
These are big goals, but can be achieved with tenacity, strength and passion. This is what Social Media Languages is all about. These are the Languages I Speak.
Over the weekend, I was talking to a family member about how the company they work for wastes an extraordinary amount of materials. Now, this company works very closely with construction as a vendor of items that they need to complete their jobs. He was telling me about how they throw away huge amounts of wood! In fact, we are in the middle of building a carport at our home and he brought home 8 pieces of plywood that were out by the dumpster ready to go to the dump! They are brand new and still have the SKU stickers on them.
So let me ask you, the company you work for, what do they do with “leftovers”? Is it a restaurant, a construction company, a coffee shop? And if it’s your own company, what do you do with goods that you don’t need or want? Do you have any programs in place?
Colorado has a large homeless population. "The most recent Colorado Statewide Homeless Person Count published estimated the number of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in the state at 16,203". WOW! That's a big number!http://www.urbanpeak.org/colorado-springs/about-us/research-evaluation/homelessness-in-colorado/) These are not just single men and women, but families too! Can you imagine worrying day in and day out about where your next meal is coming from? Where you’re going to sleep that night? And you have kids to protect, feed and clothe.
Homelessness look different for everyone; it could be because you were in an abusive relationship and this was your only way out; you lost your job and weren’t able to find a new one to take it’s place. There are so many reasons why people are homeless. We don’t walk in their shoes and couldn’t possibly understand what life is like.
But one thing I do know. I am human and I can do my best to have empathy and to try to find ways to give back. I can contribute to their well-being by donating clothes and food. I can volunteer my time at a food pantry or a shelter. I can use my talents to make blankets when the weather changes and give them to those less fortunate.
So let’s come back to what companies can do. Perhaps you work at a cafe. At the end of the day, you have left-overs, What do you do with them? Do you have programs in place so that this food can be donated?
Perhaps you work for a company that doesn’t have goods that can be donated. Maybe it’s a financial institution or a salon. There are ways you too can help. Encourage your team to donate a day of service at a one of the shelters. You could teach them about how to take care of the small earnings they have. Or you could do haircuts free of charge to assist those who are trying to find a job. Or set up some sort of program where your team can bring in donations that get picked up monthly.
We all have things at home. Clothes our kids have outgrown, shoes we don’t wear or like anymore, home goods that are not useful anymore because we redecorated. There are so many ways we can all make a difference! As a company or corporation, what do you do to contribute?
Lastly, think about the impact you can make. As a Company or an individual. Think about how you want to be viewed in your community. Do you want to be known as Socially Responsible? As Ethical and Compassionate? As givers? Comment below.
Business ethics (also corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment. It applies to all aspects of business conducted and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire organizations.
Business ethics refers to contemporary standards or sets of values that govern the actions and behavior of an individual in the business organization (or environment). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_ethics
So why is this important? Let’s say we have a group of 5 lawyers, one of them specializes in criminal law, one is a prosecutor, one does contracts, one divorce, and the last one medical malpractice.
They all know each other and even play golf together once in awhile. They often run into each other at social events and at conferences. They’ve even been opposite each other in court!
But what I want to point out here is this: Regardless of their professional relationship, they also have a personal relationship. Even though they have been on opposite sides in a courtroom, at the end of the day, they shake hands, and head out to enjoy a cold beer.
So what do we have here? We have a group of people that share the same profession, yet show each other professional courtesy and there is a high level of respect. Our lawyer who does Divorces, doesn't try to read a complicated contract between 2 businesses that are merging. This is not his specialty. But he knows someone who does this day in and day out. He refers these companies to his colleague that practices Contract Law, Let me say it again, this is professional courtesy. It is having a level of respect for friends, colleagues and others in your profession and know your own limits. We have colleagues that are much better suited for jobs we aren’t. After all, it would be impossible to know it all!
And as a side note, let me say, it is not a weakness to admit that we don’t know everything, nor is it weakness to refer a potential client to someone better suited for the job. Additionally, don't we want to provide the highest level of service we can?
In the case of our lawyers, it takes many years of schooling and continuing education for every branch of law. But the same can be said for anyone who practices their profession in a niche. If you plan to be remarkable at your craft, whatever it may be, then the same dedication and hours of study need to be invested.
So now think about this: If you’ve spent your time and energy into a particular skill set, and you are remarkable at it, then if you have a potential client who needs services in an area that you know little about, what do you do? Refer the client to a colleague OR try to fill their needs in a “the best way I can” sort of way. This now becomes an Ethical Dilemma, or does it?. What do you do? Comment below...
What does Ethics mean to you? Comment below…
Let’s examine the meaning of Ethics… And this comes from an article on the Santa Clara University website and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
“What, then, is ethics? Ethics is two things. First, ethics refers to well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues. Ethics, for example, refers to those standards that impose the reasonable obligations to refrain from rape, stealing, murder, assault, slander, and fraud. Ethical standards also include those that enjoin virtues of honesty, compassion, and loyalty. And, ethical standards include standards relating to rights, such as the right to life, the right to freedom from injury, and the right to privacy. Such standards are adequate standards of ethics because they are supported by consistent and well-founded reasons.”
“Secondly, ethics refers to the study and development of one's ethical standards. As mentioned above, feelings, laws, and social norms can deviate from what is ethical. So it is necessary to constantly examine one's standards to ensure that they are reasonable and well-founded. Ethics also means, then, the continuous effort of studying our own moral beliefs and our moral conduct, and striving to ensure that we, and the institutions we help to shape, live up to standards that are reasonable and solidly-based.”
So how then does this apply to Social Media and your Business in the digital space?
Many industries have codes of ethics. For example, Leadership Ethics, Sports Ethics, Social Sector Ethics, & Bioethics. These are just a few examples. Some of the more common are Legal, Medical, & Journalism. Does your industry have a code of Ethics? I bet it does! Do you know what standards you are held to?
If you know and have a good understanding of the code of ethics that governs your industry, you’ll have a better handle on what is expected of you in Society, which translates directly to your digital footprint.
Let me give you an example: Interpreters have a code of ethics that they must adhere to. Now, if an Interpreter jumps on FB and shares a rant about how one of the defendants in today’s trial began yelling at the Judge and “quoted” what the defendant said, would this be a violation of their code of Ethics? YES! It is. Canon 3. Confidentiality Privileged or confidential information acquired in the course of interpreting or preparing a translation shall not be disclosed by the interpreter without authorization. This interpreter could be sanctioned or lose their certification all together.
So let’s go back to SM again. This interpreter shared confidential information from a trial. While the trial transcript at some point will become public record, it is not ethical for this interpreter to share this information.
Perhaps most people wouldn’t know this. But what about others’ in her industry? What about the attorney’s that she provides work for? This could and most likely will damage her reputation and anyone who sees her post will loose confidence in her work. Now she has lost the trust of her colleagues and clients.
Ethical issues are a part of your overall Voice on Social Media.
Circle complete. One last bit of advice. NEVER post in anger, frustration or in the heat of the moment. Why? Because you can never take it back! Despite what you may think the DELETE button doesn’t delete it from the internet forever. It will live somewhere on a server and someone will find it one day.
Have you thought about managing your message in more than just English? Why would you do that? What could the benefits possibly be?
Colorado alone ranks 8th in the country in Latin population with 1,071,000 Spanish speakers. This means that 31.8% of the population speaks Spanish. Denver also has a high population of Russian, Polish, Ethiopian and Lebanese populations.
As a business, what are your goals? Knowing that Denver and Colorado have such a high diversity in cultures and languages, how does your brand reach these potential consumers.
It is predicted that Colorado will grow by another 100,000 people by the end of this year alone. This, by the way, was the growth we experienced in 2015. Our unemployment is low and businesses and brands are moving and growing here.
So, now that you know what our demographics look like, here are some tips on what you can do to reach your non English speakers and create brand awareness, know, like and trust:
Have you noticed how your state of mind changes with daily, routine or life events? But have you noticed that the outcomes of events also changes based on your state of mind?
Mirriam Webster defines Happy as:
We have become very complacent in our lives. We just move through our day, one thing after another never really paying attention to our emotions, reactions, or others as they move through their day. Our expectations have been lowered and we don’t expect much from others except to meet our needs.
Some things to think about that could change the outcome of your experiences could be acting deliberately in every situation . For example, showing kindness, empathy, smiling and being intentional about your interactions with people. For example a grumpy cashier. Instead of just accepting her attitude, perhaps giving her a smile or wishing her a better day will change the outcome of your interaction with him/her.
I once heard something that has stuck with me, and that I practice. Make a list of a few tangible things that make you happy. Maybe it’s a particular scented candle, or a linen handkerchief that belonged to someone special, listening to an upbeat song. Whatever it is, make sure it’s small and you can carry it around. When you find yourself in that un-happy mood, pull out your “little bit” of happiness. Take a couple of minutes and enjoy your little bit of happiness and watch how your mood and state of mind shifts. For me, I have a Yankee candle that I love. When I find myself in that unhappy place, I pull it out light it and just absorb the fresh, clean scent. I also keep pictures that are special to me on my phone. They instantly change my state of mind! There is a song by Clint Black called "State of Mind" (http://www.metrolyrics.com/state-of-mind-lyrics-clint-black.html). It is a great song and one I listen to frequently because he talks about this very subject. Take a listen.
Living with intention allows us to accomplish more, be happier, control outcomes a little better and generally be more pleasant to be around.
What makes you happy? Share with us in the comments below.