Linkedin and Social Media is ruining my people- feeble attempts to fight of Social Media and the Compliance nightmare

There has been a flurry of discussion around social media and its implication in the last few  months , So I thought it would be good to have some of these arguments laid out in one single post. Social Media has entered every business and industry even, inside the US Intelligence Community, who sorted out their knowledge-sharing problem and a problem with locating expertise—throughout the  bureaucracy of 16 federal agencies—using  simple tools like an intelligence community–wide Wiki and blogging environments among other things

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Social Media and Sales

“My sales people are wasting valuable time on Facebook and Linkedin when they should be selling”: that usual rhetoric many sales managers would say now a days.   Does Social Networking help sales people sell I liked that statement especially since it came from Microsoft executive.  As I have also faced the ire of top management for using social media in my career, . So this report is an eye opener for opponents of social media for sales. Read the Full Article.

LinkedIn insiders know that you can use the site’s information for more than job, sales, and partnering leads – you can find out what others are up to as well. There are downside to using Linkedin last fall an Apple employee revealed that he was managing a team developing a new chip for the iPhone while the information was still secret. . So be careful LinkedIn or any other social tools can bite you back if not used properly.

I would partly agree to the argument that social media and internet created a lot of distractions, but I dont think this is something new, we had distractions in our daily life and in office environments even before theadvent of internet. the only difference now it is easier not to do your job and indulge in something else while you are supposed to be at work when in office.

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Social Media and Influence on Decision Making

Second on my reading list was the study conducted by Don Bulmer (Vice President Global Communications- SAP ) with Society for New Communications Research. Take a look at this in his blogpost  at Social Media’s Impact on Business and Decision Making Everyday Influence blog .  Result of the study concludes that Top execs  are influenced by social networks . The copy of the report is on SNRC website

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Social Media Investments

Third on the reading list was a New Study from Deloitte, Beeline Labs and the Society for New Communications Research Indicates Despite the Recession, 94 Percent of Enterprises Continue to Invest in Online Communities & Social Media  Full Article

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Then there was  presentation by Steven Tylock, on Social networking meets sales , the presentation is on  Microsoft website

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Compliance and Social Media

The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and the Health Care Compliance Association conducted a survey among compliance and ethics professionals in late August 2009 to see what employers are doing about the use of these sites by their employees.

They got back almost 800 responses from their members using an online survey tool.

  • 50% of respondents reported that their company does not have a policy for employee online activity outside of the workplace
  • Of those companies that do have a policy, 34% include it in a general policy on online usage
  • Of those companies that do have a policy, just 10% specifically address the use of social network sites

It would be interesting to see How companies are going to include a clause on their information protection and compliance rules to define what information an employee can add to his linkedin profile during or after his tenure with the organization, especially information related to projects.

For example When an IA rep uses Twitter to send a link to an article from an online magazine, newspaper, or other site to clients and prospects “following” him, that communication is subject to SEC advertising rules. However, Bernstein says that merely sending a link is not advertising—as long as you don’t give your opinion.

A “recommendation” on your Linkedin profile by a client does indeed constitute a testimonial and, thus, violates SEC rules prohibiting RIAs from using client testimonials in advertising.

The SEC will be busy in coming months addressing the many issues posed by advisor use of social media. FDA has already release its framework on use of social media in Drug Marketing.

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Drugs, Heallthcare, FDA and Social Media

The FDA is currently considering how to handle social media, such as SideWiki, Facebook, etc. Companies such as Google, Sermo, and Twitter are playing an increasing role in marketing products to consumers and healthcare professionals, whether our customers like it or not. Technology and Life Sciences companies are pushing the FDA to come up with standards and templates. The following article has some great links to presentations from PhRMA, Google, and even from Pfizer’s Chief Medical Officer.  

Read about Googles pitch to FDA for online Drug Advertisements from the wall street journal

An archived webcast and other details of the FDA  Public Hearing on Promotion of FDA-Regulated Medical Products Using the Internet and Social Media Tools is available at the FDA website

Here what emerged from this hearing

FDA explained in the Federal Register notice that “entities should review any Internet sites sponsored by them for Drug Adverse Event Information, but are not responsible for reviewing any Internet sites that they do not sponsor; however, if they become aware of an Adverse Drug Event on an Internet site that they do not sponsor, they should review the adverse experience and determine if it should be reported to FDA.”

Numerous speakers stated that drug manufacturers are hesitant to fully engage in online social media specifically because they want to avoid learning about potential AEs and the resulting reporting obligations, particularly because the guidance in this area is unclear

Pending further guidance, companies should prepare for further FDA scrutiny of this area by developing compliance
policies to address the challenges of involvement in Internet and social media tools, including but not limited to:

„„policies relating to employee involvement in social media, and in particular statements regarding company products;

„„company involvement in physician and patient-focused social media, including both company-sponsored sites and third-party sites run by third-party organizations (and particularly those receiving manufacturer support through grants or other funding);

„„addressing the challenge of Sidewiki and similar functions that make third-party generated information directly available in conjunction with company websites;

„„updating promotional review policies to ensure consistency with developing FDA approaches to risk communication on the Internet, including sponsored links;

„„policies regarding statements that company-affiliated parties (e.g., investigators, patients) may make on the Internet, which may constitute endorsements or testimonials requiring both review and specific disclosures; and

„„ensuring a consistent and compliant approach to pharmacovigilance with respect to Internet-reported adverse events of Drugs.

 

I know one company that provides  Content Monitoring, Control & Recording across Web 2.0; User Behavior Reporting over Multiple Modalities, Regulatory Compliance for management and security of Web 2.0 applications such as social networking, blogs, wikis, webmail and social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube instant messaging, and Unified Communications. But at a cost of $9,200, it would be out of reach for individual and SMEs.  Still have a look at the recent press release by factime on its FaceTime’s Unified Security Gateway

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Myth=My sales people are wasting valuable time on Linkedin when they should be selling, Reality= Social Networking helps in Sales -Top execs say they are influenced by social networks

My sales people are wasting valuable time on Facebook and Linkedin when they should be selling”: Now thats what most sales managers would say. I know thats true , I have irritated fare share of my managers by using social media to create and close sales and in lead generation. And I continue to do it today, thanks to my current orgnaizations forward looking ways , this time around I have the support of my management to these activities.

Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) has oublished a research that shows that company executives are influenced by their online networks.

Here are some key findings from this survey 365 business professionals:

– Professional decision-making is becoming more social – enter the era of Social Media Peer Groups (SMPG)

  • Traditional influence cycles are being disrupted by Social Media as decision makers utilize social networks to inform and validate decisions
  • Professionals want to be collaborative in the decision-cycle but not be marketed or sold to online; however online marketing is a preferred activity by companies.

– Professional networks are emerging as decision-support tools

  • Decision-makers are broadening reach to gather information especially among active users

– Professionals trust online information almost as much as information gotten from in-person

  • Information obtained from offline networks still have highest levels of trust with slight advantage over online (offline: 92% – combined strongly/somewhat trust; online: 83% combined strongly/somewhat trust)

– Reliance on web-based professional networks and online communities has increased significantly over the past 3 years

  • Three quarters of respondents rely on professional networks to support business decisions
  • Reliance has increased for essentially all respondents over the past three years

– Social Media use patterns are not pre-determined by age or organizational affiliation

  • Younger (20-35) and older professionals (55+) are more active users of social tools than middle aged professionals.
  • There are more people collaborating outside their company wall than within their organizational intranet

I have also found a similarlt interesting  blog . Hosted at Sales20Book.com

“My sales people are wasting valuable time on Facebook and Linkedin when they should be selling”: Now thats what most sales managers would say. But does Social Networking help sales people sell Full Article . I liked that statement especially since it came from Microsoft executive. . As I have also faced the ire of top management for using social media in my career, some time even in Oracle. So this report is an eye opener for opponents of social media for sales.

The complete presentation and arguments are available on http://www.sales20book.com/wp/2009/05/social-networking-in-sales-show-me-the-money/

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