The beauty of social media is that it gives everyone and every company – regardless of the size – an enormous platform. The problem arises, of course, is when people fail to see the magnitude of their scope. This means that gaffes and mistakes on the various platforms are automatically multiplied.
For instance, if your company was to accidentally post something inappropriate or untoward, the post would be seen by thousands, perhaps millions. Keep in mind, nothing on the internet is actually gone forever. Even if you were to take down a tweet or a post, there is always the chance that someone has managed to snap a screenshot.
It is this image that will be forwarded to millions of other individuals. In short, your business will never quite be able to live down this shame. So, if you are hoping to avoid such a situation, you are going to need to understand the rules of conduct on this site. Here is what you will need to know:
Keep Accounts Separate
It may seem rather obvious that corporate social media accounts and private ones should be kept separate. Despite this being a rather fundamental rule, many businesses don’t take steps to ensure that this is being done. As a result, there have been quite a few incidents where personal posts have been sent out on corporate accounts.
To prevent such a scenario, make sure that there are proper security measures in place. This can be as simple as ensuring that employees only have access to the corporate accounts from work phones or computers. You can then lessen the chance of a mix-up taking place.
Know Your Boundaries
One of the biggest issues that even top brands have is understanding where their boundaries lie on social media. Since these platforms are all about engaging a community as a whole, many businesses feel the need to constantly join in on the fray. At the end of the day, though, it is important to remember that you are a company and that you have a brand image to portray.
This is why before joining in any conversations, trends, or challenges, always consider your position. Ask yourself and your team – is this something that we should be joining in? For instance, consider when a major arms manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, attempted to join the #WorldPhotoDay by asking people to post pictures with their “products”. As you can imagine, the response wasn’t what the company hoped.
Although there might be plenty of opportunities on social media, not all of them are marketing advantages. Furthermore, even if do provide advertising openings, it may not always be right for your business. If you are confused about how to decide what opportunities you can and can’t pursue, always consult the professionals. Companies like Shout Social Media Agency will be able to provide an external and expert point of view when it comes to deciding such matters.
Think Before You Post
On a similar note, the other thing that you should do, as a business, is to always think before you post. When you come up with a creative tagline, funny zinger, or something equally unique, your instinct may be to fire it off into the internet. However, what you may not be considering is whether or not that post may offend someone.
Understand, there are quite a social issues and changes taking place at the moment. Many of these are centre stage on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Therefore, if something that you posts offends any of these groups, backlash is virtually inevitable.
This is why you should always get the opinions of a diverse group of individuals before posting something. You will then be able to determine whether your message can be construed in any other way.
Always Be Polite
When you run a corporate social media account, you will constantly be crossing (online) paths with irate followers and users known as “trolls”. As a result, you can expect a fair amount of sarcasm, complaints, and even downright abuse to come your way. Now, when faced with such insults, it can be tempting to react in a similar manner.
Nonetheless, you should always recall that the account is the direct mouthpiece of the company. Anything that you say or post will directly impact the business. As such, you should always be unfailingly polite. If a conversation seems to be getting out of hand, try to take it into direct messaging. As a last resort, you can simply block the user.
These are all of the ways that you can navigate the tricky politics and obstacles of social media time and time again.