Social Media is an excellent medium to engage your customer. You can tell your brand story. You can enhance your customer relationships. You can gauge the industry and pick up on trends.
You can establish your company as current and relevant. You can generate leads. You can make your Brand accessible, fun, human. What is not to like? Social Media can also destroy your reputation. In a few, easy steps. Before breakfast. A moment of misguided enthusiasm, or even of malice, can undo what you have built up over years.
How To Avoid Social Media Disasters
Here are things you should look out for when you’re posting on Social Media:
1. It seemed a good idea at the time
It’s the office party and things are getting a little out of hand. It’s all good, clean fun and the photos are hilarious. Share your story, the experts say. Tell stories about your events, and quirky employees, they said. And on they go.Except … “you had to be there”. From the outside it looks awkward, and embarrassing, and what exactly was he doing with that balloon?
2.You and your employees represent your brand
An employee may be speaking in their private capacity, on their own personal profile. It is not even in your Company’s name. Within moments a controversial perspective can go viral, and your Company is guilty by association. Many a personal and company reputation has been ruined by an inappropriate comment or unpopular point of view.
3. But I thought I was on my own profile
Except that I was not. I was on the Company profile. It was meant as a private message and now it is splashed all over, well, everywhere. It could mean leaked, confidential information. It could be a breach in media regulations. It could be offensive and inappropriate. It could be all of the above.
4. Make sure your “social media expert” is just that
For many people social media can be intimidating. But just because someone is young, you cannot assume that they are an expert in all things social media. Before you hand it all over, do your research. Make sure they have all the required skills to build and safeguard your brand. Even a single imprudent post can cause spectacular damage.
5. Look left, look right, look left again
Make sure everything is right before you publish. Once you have hit “send”, your message is in the ether for time immemorial. Sure, you can delete your mistake as soon as you realise it. But with the power of the screenshot, the share and the re-tweet, it is out there forever. This means re-read your intended post from the perspective of the intended receiver. Is it on Brand? Could it in any way be offensive: racist, ageist, sexist? Are there spelling mistakes? Is the grammar spot-on?
6. And if you made a mistake, say sorry
Once you have realised your mistake, come clean and apologise. Do not become defensive or arrogant. Do not begin to attack any followers that disagree. Do not delete comments that you do not like. Engage your reviewer in conversation; show off your customer service skills; demonstrate that you are big enough to say sorry, and fix the problem.
7. When the cat’s away, the mouse will play
The motivation could be mischief or malice. It is possible that your Company account could be hacked, an imposter posting all manner of inappropriate content designed to embarrass and do damage. Using your Brand name. And saying terrible things. Or perhaps it is a disgruntled ex-employee with a fake profile set on destruction. It could be someone with too much time on his or her hands, trolling up a storm. An unhappy customer may be trying to get your attention. You need to actively manage your social media platforms. Keep close tabs on all the activity and respond appropriately.
Social Media: Yes Or No?
Is social media still a good idea for your business? Or do the associated risks outweigh all the positives to be gained? With the possibility of rumours, mistakes, leaks, misunderstandings, mischief and mishandling, does it still make sense to have a social media presence? Despite the risks, the answer is still a resounding, “Yes!” When you know what to look out for you can avoid the possible pitfalls. If you have a sound Social Media strategy, you can get real rewards from your efforts. If you are looking to manage your social media the proper way you will need a Social Media Content Calendar. Want to benefit from Social Media marketing, but just don't have the time? No problem, let us manage your social media for you. Contact us about Social Media Management.