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Are You in Control of Your Social Media?

June 1, 2020

In today’s world, social media defines us both in our personal and professional lives. Being in control of the messaging…

In today’s world, social media defines us both in our personal and professional lives. Being in control of the messaging that is put out on social media is more important now than ever before.

As individuals, social media can be used to share updates with loved ones, funny photos with friends, and as a way to stay in touch, but in business, social media is embraced as not only an important marketing tool, but as a reflection of a company’s employees. With all its opportunities and benefits, social media can have serious ramifications for companies and employees alike.

As an example of the ramifications of using social media, let’s take the recent events that transpired over social media involving a local company. An executive with the company posted an obscene, racist meme on their Facebook page, causing outrage and bringing unwanted attention to their employer. The company immediately fired the individual and posted a message on their Facebook page that read, “The views reflected in posts made by individuals do not reflect the views or values of [this company].”

The company was applauded for their quick action and intolerance of such messaging from one of their employees on social media, but this situation shines a light on the power of social media and the consequences that can come from it.

In business, social media should form the voice of a company’s brand. The content and opinions shared through social media, whether on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or even long-lost MySpace, will be taken as the opinion of your brand/company as a whole.

Because of this, it’s important that any employee who has access to these online channels is briefed on what is acceptable online conduct, as well as the tone of voice of the company. A tone of voice isn’t limited to posts, it includes how a company chooses to interact with other social media users on their pages as well.

In order to maintain control of the messaging and tone of your company’s social media, it is important to implement clear social media policies and training – both in personal and professional context. All existing employees should know what is considered acceptable and new employees should be made aware of what is expected of them regarding their online behavior.

Social media usage and policies will vary from company to company, but some important information a company’s social media guidelines should highlight may include the following:

  1. Acting professionally online and what exactly this entails.
    • Is inappropriate language or the use of profanity tolerated? Flagrant posts about politics/religion/etc.?
  2. Protecting individual privacy and company reputation.
    • Your employees are a reflection of the company – this includes their social media.
  3. Process for dealing with, and escalating feedback received through social media sites.
    • When is it appropriate to take escalating conversations offline? Being aware and active when hot-button topics arise is crucial.

Social media is becoming a huge medium in today’s society – some individuals even report that they get all their news from social media. Because of this, there is a need for clear online policies and training for employees around the use of social media, both personally and professionally. Preparing and informing your employees on appropriate social media use will likely prevent your company from becoming a headline.

Need help crafting your company message or defining your company’s voice? Give us a call. This is work we are honored to do for those we represent. 

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