Tag Archives: tweet

Hey Look! That’s Me! – A Test For Client Confidentiality and Social Media

I spotted a twitter exchange yesterday that caused me some concern.

A case was being discussed on Twitter that referred to identifying features. No names were mentioned and in that sense, at least, the clients were anonymous.  However, the details being discussed, such as appointments, some figures and issues would have been enough for the clients concerned to identify themselves in a flash.

I cannot recall where I learnt this “Hey look, that’s me!” test for confidentiality.  I do not know if it is enshrined in protocol or case law – perhaps a reader might care to tell us – but it makes perfect sense.

If a client can recognise themselves then that is perhaps the lowest cognitive bar we can set.

That is no reason to disregard that low bar, or dismiss it with an argument that “No-one else would know who it was.”  After all, if the client complains to us or relevant supervising bodies, then that will be more than enough to land us in hot water.

This incident also highlighted another issue.  We need to be diligent ourselves in testing confidentiality, but also in pointing out possible problems to one another.

By doing so we can self police effectively.  The alternative is likely to be a blanket ban or some other hysterical over-reaction.

I hope that if I have such a lapse in future that someone would quickly send me a direct message discretely to point out a possible problem.

I also hope that I would receive it with the same good grace and politeness that my Twitter friend did.

In the words of High School Musical “We’re all in this together…”

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Is Social Media Engagement a Myth?

To what extent is social media’s promise of engagement a myth?

Earlier today I read this comment on Twitter from the recognised and highly regarded, including by myself, Twitter expert, @markshaw.

Mark believes strongly in the power of Twitter.  I join him in that.  But his apparent belief that he should expect a response from @nickclegg is misplaced and I think inappropriate.

Social Media Etiquette

Mark’s cajoling, even challenge, to Nick Clegg to communicate with him, to reply, is inappropriate.  If Nick and Mark (forgive the familiarity of first names) were present in the same room, at a networking event, then such a demand for a response would be wildly out of place.

You would wait your turn, probably wait for an opportunity to feed into an existing conversation or wait for a quiet discrete moment.

The Force Response – Is an answer required?

I replied to Mark that the “force response”, to me, is the domain of the email.  People expect responses to email, and quickly too.

One of the joys of Twiter, to me, is that I choose to go to my twitter stream and dip in and out of the conversation as I choose.  Sometimes I broadcast, sometimes I respond, sometimes I engage in a conversation.

I opt in, or out.  Twitter puts me in control.

The only time I feel I am expected to respond is if addresed by direct or an @ message.

The Illusion of Engagement

But, for the individual reading any given tweet, the perception that they are engaged in a conversation or relationship is nothing but a powerful illusion.

This has bearings for us as all as we continue to use this medium personally and commercially.

Expectation

I myself became frustrated last year when I tweeted about some truly awful customer service from Tescos.  I live tweeted about the service and expected some response from Tescos. Nothing and I had to go through email and telephone instead.

Is it right that we expect to be heard and acknowledged within social media?

Perhaps we should expect organisations to be responsive.  Would I expect the Lib/Dem machine to get in touch with Mark?  I think I would.

Should it be a personalised answer from Nick Clegg.  No, surely not.  If he gets it then that’s very nice.  It will give Mark a great anecdote to share in his excellent Twitter training sessions and might boost Nick’s credibility within Mark’s contact spheres, but it is not necessary.

Aggression Detering Engagement

Finally I cannot resist pulling on my conflict communications hat.  There is something quite aggressive about Mark’s challenge to Nick. (I really wish I hadn’t gone with first names).  I’m sure Mark didn’t mean it to.

I think the problem is in the opening “If…”

It almost reads as if to say, “Oh yeah Nick? If you are so prepared to listen and engage, come on out here…” 

So again, note to self, be aware of how we might be coming across…

What Do You Think?

What are your thoughts?

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Filed under An End To Silo Thinking, General Technology

Give A Man A Tweet And He’ll Tweet For A Day…

NeilDenny

Talking to a firm who have “someone in” to do their Twitter account. Result? 8 followers. Where’s the ROI on that?

@NeilDenny depends .. how much have they invested in taking part in twitter. getting someone IN is like admitting , we dont care enough.

NeilDenny

…or “We’d like to but aren’t confident in our skills.” We shouldn’t be TOO dismissive. We should reassure, inform and encourage

Such was my recent Twitter exchange.

I need to be careful as I have been invited IN to assist with a company’s Twitter on their behalf.  However, what is crucial in doing that is that I let go off the Twitter account as soon as possible.

If I give them a few tweets, that is completely meaningless and has close to zero value.

Scratch that.  It has NO value.

However, if I can establish presence and momentum, then it seems to me that the company can see the point in tweeting and will want to maintain that conversation within their field.  This is about more than followers of course. How many people are we communicating with?  Is this bilateral or simply broadcasting.  Are tweets being picked up and re-tweeted?

So, give a man a tweet and he’ll tweet for day, show him how to tweet and he’ll tweet for ever.*

We can reassure, inform and encourage, that is after all, how many of us got tweeting in the first place.  Many companies and individuals will simply not get past those first breakers as they embark on their first tweeting expeditions.  They have no context, no momentum and no presence and so simply abandon their newly launched Twitter accounts and head back for shore.

*Or woman, of course.

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