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How to Successfully Remote #WFH, According to 6 Social Media Professionals

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Meta’s Developing and ‘Ethical Framework’ for the Use of Virtual Influencers

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Meta's Developing and 'Ethical Framework' for the Use of Virtual Influencers


With the rise of digital avatars, and indeed, fully digital characters that have evolved into genuine social media influencers in their own right, online platforms now have an obligation to establish clear markers as to what’s real and what’s not, and how such creations can be used in their apps.

The coming metaverse shift will further complicate this, with the rise of virtual depictions blurring the lines of what will be allowed, in terms of representation. But with many virtual influencers already operating, Meta is now working to establish ethical boundaries on their application.

As explained by Meta:

From synthesized versions of real people to wholly invented “virtual influencers” (VIs), synthetic media is a rising phenomenon. Meta platforms are home to more than 200 VIs, with 30 verified VI accounts hosted on Instagram. These VIs boast huge follower counts, collaborate with some of the world’s biggest brands, fundraise for organizations like the WHO, and champion social causes like Black Lives Matter.”

Some of the more well-known examples on this front are Shudu, who has more than 200k followers on Instagram, and Lil’ Miquela, who has an audience of over 3 million in the app.

At first glance, you wouldn’t necessarily realize that this is not an actual person, which makes such characters a great vehicle for brand and product promotions, as they can be utilized 24/7, and can be placed into any environment. But that also leads to concerns about body image perception, deepfakes, and other forms of misuse through false or unclear representation.

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Deepfakes, in particular, may be problematic, with Meta citing this campaign, with English football star David Beckham, as an example of how new technologies are evolving to expand the use of language, as one element, for varying purpose.

The well-known ‘DeepTomCruise’ account on TikTok is another example of just how far these technologies have come, and it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where they could be used to, say, show a politician saying or doing something that he or she actually didn’t, which could have significant real world impacts.

Which is why Meta is working with developers and experts to establish clearer boundaries on such use – because while there is potential for harm, there are also beneficial uses for such depictions.

Imagine personalized video messages that address individual followers by name. Or celebrity brand ambassadors appearing as salespeople at local car dealerships. A famous athlete would make a great tutor for a kid who loves sports but hates algebra.

Such use cases will increasingly become the norm as VR and AR technologies are developed, with these platforms placing digital characters front and center, and establishing new norms for digital connection.

It would be better to know what’s real and what’s not, and as such, Meta needs clear regulations to remove dishonest depictions, and enforce transparency over VI use.

But then again, much of what you see on Instagram these days is not real, with filters and editing tools altering people’s appearance well beyond what’s normal, or realistic. That can also have damaging consequences, and while Meta’s looking to implement rules on VI use, there’s arguably a case for similar transparency in editing tools applied to posted videos and images as well.

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That’s a more complex element, particularly as such tools also enable people to feel more comfortable in posting, which no doubt increases their in-app activity. Would Meta be willing to put more focus on this element if it could risk impacting user engagement? The data on the impact of Instagram on people’s mental health are pretty clear, with comparison being a key concern.

Should that also come under the same umbrella of increased digital transparency?

It’s seemingly not included in the initial framework as yet, but at some stage, this is another element that should be examined, especially given the harmful effects that social media usage can have on young women.

But however you look at it, this is no doubt a rising element of concern, and it’s important for Meta to build guardrails and rules around the use of virtual influencers in their apps.

You can read more about Meta’s approach to virtual influencers here.





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Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps

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Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps


Meta has published a new set of safety tips for journalists to help them protect themselves in the evolving online connection space, which, for the most part, also apply to all users more broadly, providing a comprehensive overview of the various tools and processes that it has in place to help people avoid unwanted attention online.

The 32-page guide is available in 21 different languages, and provides detailed overviews of Meta’s systems and profile options for protection and security, with specific sections covering Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The guide begins with the basics, including password protections and enabling two-factor authentication.

It also outlines tips for Page managers in securing their business profiles, while there are also notes on what to do if you’ve been hacked, advice for protection on Messenger and guidance on bullying and harassment.

Meta security guide

For Instagram, there are also general security tips, along with notes on its comment moderation tools.

Meta security guide

While for WhatsApp, there are explainers on how to delete messages, how to remove messages from group chats, and details on platform-specific data options.

Meta security guide

There are also links to various additional resource guides and tools for more context, providing in-depth breakdowns of when and how to action the various options.

It’s a handy guide, and while there are some journalist-specific elements included, most of the tips do apply to any user, so it could well be a valuable resource for anyone looking to get a better handle on your various privacy tools and options.

Definitely worth knowing either way – you can download the full guide here.

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Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump

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Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump


Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with relatives of slain commander Qasem Soleimani ahead of the second anniverary of his death in a US drone strike in Iraq – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Tom Brenner

Twitter said Saturday it had permanently suspended an account linked to Iran’s supreme leader that posted a video calling for revenge for a top general’s assassination against former US president Donald Trump.

“The account referenced has been permanently suspended for violating our ban evasion policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.

The account, @KhameneiSite, this week posted an animated video showing an unmanned aircraft targeting Trump, who ordered a drone strike in Baghdad two years ago that killed top Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s main accounts in various languages remain active. Last year, another similar account was suspended by Twitter over a post also appearing to reference revenge against Trump.

The recent video, titled “Revenge is Definite”, was also posted on Khamenei’s official website.

According to Twitter, the company’s top priority is keeping people safe and protecting the health of the conversation on the platform.

The social media giant says it has clear policies around abusive behavior and will take action when violations are identified.

As head of the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Soleimani was the architect of its strategy in the Middle East.

He and his Iraqi lieutenant were killed by a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.

Khamenei has repeatedly promised to avenge his death.

On January 3, the second anniversary of the strike, the supreme leader and ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi once again threatened the US with revenge.

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Trump’s supporters regularly denounce the banning of the Republican billionaire from Twitter, underscoring that accounts of several leaders considered authoritarian by the United States are allowed to post on the platform.



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