Businesses of all shapes and sizes are flocking to social media. In fact, according to LinkedIn, 9 in 10 small or medium-sized businesses use or plan to use social media as part of their marketing initiatives.
It’s easy to see why marketers love social media. It allows brands to engage with their target market directly and in a more personal manner. Social media also amplifies their message in ways that previously required huge marketing dollars to achieve.
But as many companies have learned - sometimes the hard way, unfortunately - social media marketing can be a double-edged sword. Just as it can help you communicate your message to millions in a single click, social media can also undo your marketing efforts in just moments, if used carelessly.
So how do you shield your business from social media faux pas that can be embarrassing and potentially damaging to your reputation online? Here are 4 best practices you can implement right now.
Develop a social media policy. With the popularity of social media continuing to grow exponentially, your marketing department will not be the only ones using it. Your employees will also be active on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook, and what they share or post could also reflect your brand. It’s important that you document and communicate clearly what’s required and expected of them when posting online.
Require and enforce safe data practices. One rogue tweet from a hacker can be embarrassing and potentially damaging. Ensure that your social media accounts are protected by making sure your employees are following safe data practices such using strong passwords and avoiding suspicious links.
Establish a process for posting content. By curating and carefully planning what your company posts on your social media channels, you will be able to control and calibrate your message more effectively. It also helps avoid mistakes that can be detrimental to your efforts.
Prepare a crisis management plan. You must have a quick and effective action plan in place in the unlikely event of a breach or a serious gaffe. A crisis management plan also helps mitigate any potential liabilities and further embarrassment. Mistakes are inevitable, but with a solid plan and meticulous follow-through, you will be able to save your organization from becoming a trending topic on social media.
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