Every single one of us(to an extent) uses social media on a daily basis. We post, tweet, share and follow but we hardly ever stop and think about the importance of social media and the power it gives to us as it’s mellow consumers. We know that it helps us to connect with friends and share our thoughts and experiences. It has made being connected a lot easier as you are able to do it almost anywhere at any time. However, some of us still refer to social media cites, such as Facebook as unimportant. Well considering the latest reports that Facebook is actually worth a lot more than some of the most successful companies who have been around for quite some time, the idea that Facebook is nothing more than a place where people upload photos of their dinner couldn’t be farther from reality.
My last blog post detailed an example of how a very successful company can be quite vulnerable when it comes to social media and how quickly its reputation can get tarnished if it is not used timely and appropriately. However, it is not only the reputation of companies that is under threat; executives too, should be extremely careful when updating their statuses. Here is an example of a CFO who was fired for tweeting. Most people would agree that his tweets weren’t very offensive or out there but they still cost him his high-paying job. It’s vital to remember that social media is not all fun and games. To ensure that you and your fellow workers don’t end up under the fire and your organisation’s reputation stays intact, please read and follow these very simple but effective pointers:
1. Establish social media use rules
Organise a social media pack, so that all the new workers can familiarise themselves with your organisation’s social media rules, platforms used and its overall social media presence. Include examples of what not to post, what times are best for posting, tweeting etc and any other information that you may think is important. Here are a few things to consider if you find yourself lost:
- Decide who has permission to post on what pages and when
- Determine when and how often should they be posting
- Ask whether an approval process is necessary for social media posts
- Establish whether scheduling posts is OK
- Determine who responds to a complaint and how — and how fast– they respond
- Decide on a voice for your brand
2. Write a contract for a social media manager
Make sure it covers privacy and confidentiality, and that it includes specifics on what employees can post to their personal and corporate social media accounts.
3. Develop a procedure for dealing with screw-ups internally
Contingency plans are a must for any company and even more so when it comes to dealing with social media. Notifiers and warning systems need to be in check and ready to go because as we all know social media is as unpredictable as Melbourne’s weather.
Now let’s hope that social media users and pro’s will be more aware of its advantages and complications, and will use social media wisely. I know I will.