Social Media Checklist

We love social media. When used correctly, it’s a business’ best friend. Get it wrong, however, and the consequences can be pretty darn messy.

Behind its laidback, smiley face façade, social media is absolutely riddled with risks for businesses. Just one unwanted comment can bring even the mightiest company to its knees, but if you and your staff are savvy to its perils, you can help protect yourself against the potholes.

Here’s a checklist of the dos and don’ts when it comes to dancing to social media’s tune…

Firstly, make sure your staff’s personal social media activity doesn’t damage your business’ interests or reputation. Posting a comment about the weird man in IT or causally moaning about their day could escalate into something nasty, so ensure your staff realise just how inflammatory their comments can be.

If an employee does mention their affiliation with the business on their personal profile, they must state that their views do not represent those of their employer. Plus, it’s always best to encourage your staff to uphold a professional image even when discussing their plans for the weekend. You don’t want people thinking you employ binge-drinking maniacs.

Remember that as a company, you have your own opinions. These opinions have been carefully considered and are sensitive to your target audience. If you allow your staff to wax lyrical under the company’s name, your audience will think you’ve gone a bit mad. Make it clear to all members of staff that unless they’re authorised to do so, they must not express opinions on the company’s behalf via social media.

When posting for the business, your employees need to know that within a few nano seconds, millions of people will be able to read their comment. And although you can delete a statement, you can’t wipe the memories of those who have already read it. So if a customer is being tricky or a supplier has pulled the rug from under their feet, staff should take a moment to compose a measured, democratic and customer-friendly reply. So no effing and blinding!

It’s amazing what one little comment can do to a company’s reputation. You can spend 20 years building your business up, only to have it come crashing down in the blink of an eye. Therefore, it’s essential you enforce a strict social media policy that covers every dark and dingy corner. Make it clear to your employees that a breach of this policy could result in disciplinary action, which could well lead to dismissal. That should deter them from being too casual about it!

If you want to keep your business’ head above the social media tidal wave, get in touch.

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