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10 Questions With Social Media Master Jasmine Star

People

Social media doesn't make a business, but, rather, makes a business better. The most successful businesses are leveraging social media and it's helped even the playing field for smaller and/or newer businesses. Social media is the quickest way for entrepreneurs to create a buzz and Jasmine Star is here to show you how.


1. What’s the biggest difference between personal and professional social media?

The key to keep in mind as you use social media for your business is that it's not about you. It's about the value your business provides for your followers. Your endeavors should be focused entirely as a division of your brand and a way for customers to develop an allegiance to your product or service. Those wild nights in Vegas captured in dimly lit photos? That messy (but cute) photo of your son eating Cheerios in high chair? Those types of photos belong on your personal account. What you share on Instagram or Facebook in relation to your business should give customers into what you can do for them.

2. OK so you launch a social media page for your company. You have zero followers, where do you start?

You must start engaging. In this day and age, it's not enough to simply use social media...you must be strategic and develop patterns of interaction. You should leave comments on other pages, like photos on other accounts, respond to questions, and find ways to connect with prospective followers. Basically, you need to let people know your account is there as a benefit for them if they know they should follow you after your initial point of contact.

3. Name a few companies you think do a great job on social and why.

INSTAGRAM: @ShopBando does an amazing job curating a fun and quirky feed, all while promoting their products, as used by their customers. They know who they're speaking to, the brand message, and curates a feed that attracts their dream customers.

SNAPCHAT: @Everlane is an apparel company that's--hands down--used Snapchat in the most effective and creative ways. Each day is carefully planned so their followers know what to expect and it feels like a series of 10-second artsy commercials for their viewers. SO smart.

FACEBOOK: @ToneItUp does a fantastic job incorporating personal elements into their fitness brand. Yes, Katrina and Karena post personal photos, they're still related to their brand and business. They're regularly active and create a tribe of loyal followers by sharing curated aspects of their personal lives.

4. What trends are you noticing in terms of social media? Preferred channels? Preferred content?

Video streaming is a major shift in social media. Viewers want real-time, raw access to your business, so Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and Periscope are amazing ways to give sneak peeks into your business and connect with followers in a deep way in a short amount of time.

5. How big of an audience do you need before you are considered an “influencer”? How engaged should they be?

Everyone has different categorizations of "influencer" status, but the main thing to remember is that while numbers are impressive, not all followers are the same. I've seen Instagrammers with considerably smaller followings outperform mega Instagrammers, so this begs the question WHY? There are social media accounts that consistently engage, interact, and create value for its followers. These accounts are less about being impressive, and more focused on creating a tribe of like-minded people. As a result, when a company requests a call-to-action, its followers respond en masse. It's incredible to see!

6. How frequently should a brand be posting to keep the community engaged? Is there such a thing as too much?

Yes, there is a thing as too much, but each business has its own cadence. It's important to post at least once a day, but beyond that, the pattern of engagement should be assessed according to how often people want to hear from the business.

7. What is one social media app you couldn't live without?

I'm currently obsessed with Instagram. The updates have been incredible and the possibilities of getting discovered, searched for, and found are unparalleled. The average Instagram user is in the app 21 minutes per day, and has the highest engagement of any social platform. From a strategic standpoint, it makes the most sense to build a presence on the fastest growing social media platform...and I'm happy to do so.

8. Can you speak briefly about paid followers vs. organic. Is there a trade off?

I highly discourage entrepreneurs from investing in paid followers. The largest social platforms (like Facebook and Instagram) use algorithms to determine what viewers will see first. The algorithm content that account followers have interacted and engaged with. If your account has a lot of paid followers (who are usually unresponsive, unengaged, and fake), they won't leave likes or comments. As a result, the algorithm deems your content as irrelevant and doesn't show it more leveraging organic reach. Paid followers hurt your relevance, so I suggest staying far away from it!

9. What is the biggest mistake brands and businesses make with their social accounts?

So many companies use their social media platforms as commercials for their business. And this is the worst way to grow social platforms. If you want more followers, your content must create value. Your endeavors should position your business as a helpful authority in the field, and produce fun, engaging, and visually compelling content. Your social media endeavors should be all about your customers.

10. Which analytics tools do you recommend to gather and analyze data? What should we be looking for when studying these numbers?

Facebook has a great built-in analytics tool (let's be honest, they want businesses to know their reach and impressions to better understand how to create advertisements).

On that note, I've created Instagram ads on the Facebook ads platform to better understand my data. Even if you aren't paying for ads, understanding reach, click-throughs, and likes/comments is beneficial to knowing what type of content resonates most with your customers.

Career

Male Managers Afraid To Mentor Women In Wake Of #MeToo Movement

Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.


In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.

What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.

Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.

Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.

While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.

According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.

In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.


Source-Alex Brandon, AP

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.

Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.

The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.