Recently, Melissa Teng had the rare opportunity to get creative with her bathtub at home.
Teng, the co-founder and creative director at lifestyle blog Wit and Folly, was working on a social media project with a skincare line. She set up her bathtub space with lights, candles, and bath bubbles. Then, she put herself in the tub as the model.
If this were any another time, Teng might have hired someone else to model for the project, but that simply isn’t possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals everywhere are following social distancing, and staying at home to help minimize public health risk of the coronavirus.
In many respects, social media professionals may actually be best positioned to make a successful transition to remote work from home – this job can be done literally anywhere in the world, as long as you have the proper equipment and a WiFi connection.
Yet even so, for most, this will be a significant transition. So what are the key secrets to maximizing your productivity in social media management when working from home?
I spoke with several social practitioners to get their insights into #WFH success.
Create structure and routine
DeeAnn Sims-Knight, tyhe founder of Dark Horse PR, is currently working remote with her team members. In order to make the transition into remote work, she reiterates the importance of creating daily structure and routine, which can have a direct impact on overall performance.
“When working from home, wake up at your usual time, shower, and get ready for work just as you would if you were coming into the office.”
Sims-Knight advices that people should try to stick to a schedule as much as possible throughout the day. Each circumstance will be different, depending on your work from home environment, but establishing structure early on is key for succeeding now with remote work, as well as later when you return to a traditional office setting.
If you don’t create a schedule primarily to support your own WFH habits, do it in consideration of your clients and team members.
“Setting a schedule ensures you’re available and reliable to your clients and fellow employees.”
Time batch your work
Several social media professionals I spoke with also emphasized the importance of time-batching your workload.
Jenay Rose, the founder and CEO of Namaste Jenay Inc., says this WFH tip enables everyone to be at their most efficient and productive.
“If you have a bunch of similar tasks to do, like writing emails or captions for a client, organize those tasks to work on them together. This helps you avoid task switching so you can better find that flow.”
Make sure you have the proper equipment and a dedicated workspace
Brandi Mowles is a Facebook and Instagram ad strategist at Brandi and Company LLC, and her key tip for maximizing WFH productivity is defining a clear workspace within your home environment.
Mowles has taken this to the next level, building her own studio to facilitate social content creation, complementing her existing home office space.
“Instead of a webcam, I have a DSLR, and I’ve upgraded my lighting and learned how to do some pretty cool streaming tricks.”
Creating a studio has enabled Mowles to keep testing various forms of content, experiment, and get creative. Of course, not everyone will have the capacity or space to build an in-home studio fit for purpose, but you can still establish a dedicated workspace within your home. This should be a defined area that you work from daily, which feels professional and enables you to organize and lay-out everything that you’re using for your work.
Trying to figure out the proper equipment that social media pros need on hand?
Melissa Clem, the owner of Become Intertwined, a boutique social media agency in Southern California, says that these are some of the key tools that you should consider:
- Standing desk or computer stand – If you don’t feel like you’re active enough, this will help you get up and on your feet.
- Phone stand – Mount your phone on a stand to avoid shaky handheld camerawork on a smartphone.
- Surfaces for shooting flat lays and details – Think polished and professional photography backdrops, like those available from Replica Surfaces
- Lighting – Clem recommends using as much natural light as possible – however that’s contingent on what you’re shooting from home. Consider investing in a Ring Light with a stand for selfies, DIY tutorials, and videos. Clem also recommends using a lightbox for detail and product shots.
Set clear communication expectations with the team
Jaime Huffman runs a social media agency called Charleston Blonde in Charleston, South Carolina, and her entire staff is now working remote.
Huffman says that the most difficult part of the adjustment to WFH is not being able to physically sit with, and bounce ideas off the team together.
“Normally, we talk and interact constantly all day – some of my favorite moments are when we are sitting around, talking, joking, and coming up with creative ideas for our clients.”
Now, Huffman and her team engage frequently from their remote spaces with the help of Basecamp – through Basecamp, they’re able to upload ad design ideas and edit copy together. They also video chat daily on Zoom, where they’re able to see one another on screen.
Huffman credits clear and concise communication strategies for their team’s remote work success. She advises that managers should set fair and attainable expectations for remote work from the very beginning, as that provides team members the flexibility to work on their own schedules, while still understanding what’s expected, and when.
Additionally, Huffman advises that managers should seek to maintain awareness of the stresses and hardships that their team members are going through amid the current situation. Making sure to express gratitude is one simple measure to keep in mind in this respect.
“You can never thank your team members enough when they are doing a good job for you. When people feel appreciated, they work harder. My team continues to work hard because they feel appreciated.”
Create a turn off routine
You have a routine for powering on at the start of the day – now you also need one that enables you to turn off from social media as much as possible.
Some tips to help:
- Go for a walk after powering down – “I listen to a podcast or something that gets me in personal mode,” Rose says. “I also like to meditate and move my body with a quick workout.”
- Take 15 minutes to plan for tomorrow – Mowles likes to do this before shutting the computer down and exiting her home studio. “When I leave the office, I am now in ‘mom mode.’”
- Clean off your computer – Teng powers down her computer and enjoys a cup of tea, while cleaning off her computer and workspace for tomorrow.
As a final pro tip, remember that the end of work time you establish for yourself must be as firm as the one for the start of the day.
Setting end of the day hours, as Clem points out, is the best way to unplug, relax, and turn everything off – just as much as any social media pro would do in a traditional office setting.
Belleville mayor responds to controversial social media post – inquinte.ca
Facebook slaps labels on 'state-controlled' media outlets – ZDNet
Facebook has begun labelling media outlets it deems to be “state-controlled”, which it assesses based on various factors such as government influence and ownership. It also will slap similar labels on ads from these publishers later this year in a move, it says, aims to provide greater transparency.
The social media platform on Thursday kicked off efforts to label media organisations that were “wholly or partially” under the editorial control of their government. It had announced plans to do so last October as part of a string of initiatives to curb election interference on its site.
Applying labels to state-controlled media outlets would offer “greater transparency” to readers who should know if the news came from publications that might be under the influenced of a government, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said in a post. He added that similar labels would be placed on ads from these publishers later this year.
Applied globally, these labels would be placed on the publication’s Pages, Ad Library Page, and Page Transparency section. They also would be extended to posts in News Feeds in the US over the next week, Gleicher said.
In addition, later this year, ads from such media outlets would be blocked in the US “to provide an extra layer or protection” against foreign influence in the public debate around the upcoming US elections in November, he said.
A check on China’s Xinhua News and Russia’s Sputnik News profiles on Facebook revealed each had a label, displayed as “China state-controlled media” and “Russian state-controlled media”, under their respective Page Transparency section.
Such labels, however, would not be added to US news outlets because Facebook believed these organisations, including those run by the US government, had editorial independence, Gleicher said in a Reuters report.
In establishing its policy criteria, he said in his post that Facebook consulted more than 65 experts worldwide who specialised in media, governance, and human rights development to understand the “different ways and degrees” to which governments exerted editorial control over media companies.
He noted that the defining qualities of state-controlled media extended beyond government funding and ownership and included an assessment of editorial control. To determine if publishers were wholly or partially under the government’s editorial control, he said Facebook looked at various factors including the media organisation’s mission statement and mandate, ownership structure, editorial guidelines around sources of content, information about newsroom staff, funding source, and accountability mechanisms.
Country-specific factors, such as press freedom, also were assessed, he said.
Media organisations that disagreed with such labels could submit an appeal with Facebook and offer documentation to argue their case. To demonstrate their independence, publishers should provide indication of established procedures to ensure editorial independence or an assessment by an independent, credible organisation that determined such procedures had been adhered to and their country’s statute — safeguarding editorial independence — had been observed.
But while it is moving to stick labels on such media outlets, Facebook is less willing to do so for other types of content. CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently came under fire for refusing to take action against posts from US President Donald Trump, including one that appeared to incite violence against protesters in the country. The post, which first appeared on Twitter and was reposted on Facebook, was later restricted on Twitter for breaching its policies on glorifying violence. Zuckerberg, however, specifically declined to enforce similar action, prompting several of his employees to stage a “virtual walkout” in protest.
Facebook last September said advertisers running campaigns on social issues, elections, and politics on its platform in Singapore would have to confirm their identity and location, and reveal who was responsible for the ads. It said the move was part of efforts to stem the spread of “misinformation” and help block foreign interference in local elections. It also came amid calls from Singapore’s Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam for regulations to deal with “hostile information campaigns”.
Facebook earlier this week complied with a Singapore government directive to block local access the National Times Singapore page, but described the order as “severe and risk being misused to stifle voices and perspectives” online. The social media platform in February also had adhered to the government’s order to block local access the States Times Review page, whilst highlighting it was “deeply concerned” that the move stifled freedom of expression in Singapore.
Such government directives were enabled by the country’s Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), which was passed in May last year, following a brief public debate, and came into effect on last October along with details on how appeals against directives could be made. The Bill had passed despite strong criticism that it gave the government far-reaching powers over online communication and would be used to stifle free speech as well as quell political opponents.
China says social media firms should not selectively create obstacles for media – The Guardian
BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Friday that social media companies should not selectively create obstacles for media agencies, responding to Facebook Inc’s decision to start labeling state-controlled media organisations.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters during a daily briefing that any media agency operating in line with relevant laws of various countries should be treated equally.
The world’s biggest social network will apply the label to Russia’s Sputnik, Iran’s Press TV and China’s Xinhua News, according to a partial list Facebook provided.
(Reporting by Huizhong Wu; writing by Se Young Lee; editing by John Stonestreet)
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