Nearly every day in the news we see story after story of celebrities, political icons or professional sports figures whooping it up on social media. Whether they’re Instagramming risqué photos or engaging in a Twitter war with one another, social media is today’s popular forum for expressing opinions and beliefs as well as sharing personal elements of one’s lives.
And while that is all well and good, there have been countless occasions where these social media antics were taken to extremes costing some their reputations and their livelihoods. Take, for example, a tweet that Kmart sent out just after the Newtown shooting. The tweet read, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrible tragedy. #PrayforNewtown #CTShooting #Fab15Toys” I think we can all agree that it is in bad taste to throw in a promotional hashtag to a post sending condolences to young shooting victims. Bad move, Kmart, bad move.
Another example is when your social media management company accidentally tweets from a client account rather than their personal one. This is a tweet apparently sent by @KitchenAidUSA, “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president’. #nbcpolitics” Looks like KitchenAid had a lot of cleaning up to do after that disaster.
We cannot stress enough the importance of a solid social media policy for your business, or working with a solid social media management company. One damaging post could cost your company its hard-earned reputation and you your life’s work. Don’t take chances. Follow these simple guidelines to set up your social media policy and protect your company from a fatal faux pas.
Don’t Use Personal Email Accounts For Professional Business
Any emails that contain professional business content should always be sent from a company email account. Not only does it look unprofessional to use a standard Yahoo or Gmail address, it is also not as secure as a specific company email address. Also, be sure to keep the content of your email strictly business oriented. No personal emails.
Think Before You Post
Personal online social media accounts should be set up using only personal email addresses, never your company address. Your company name, information or logo should never be used without consent. Keep your personal life separate from your business life when at all possible.
Text Messaging and Instant Messaging
The same rules apply for text messaging and instant messaging as for email. Basically, be cautious when putting things into writing especially when it relates to your place of business. You never know when a quote can be taken out of context and used inappropriately.
When crafting your social media policy, be sure to have it done by a professional legal team to ensure that you are covering all of the bases. Working with a trustworthy social media management company can help point you in the right direction when it comes to finding a legal team to work with. Clearly outline all rules and regulations as well as the consequences for not strictly adhering to the policy. Once the social media policy is in place, it is up to you to enforce it and let your staff and your social media management company know you mean business and that protecting your livelihood and your business’ reputation are of the utmost importance.
Can a social media management company help?
Social media can be a fun platform to use for personal reasons or for hobbies and interests, but it must be made clear that business and personal content are not to be mixed under any circumstances. If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, work with a social media management company that can help you better understand and get control of your online social media presence.