Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and the like can be fantastic for businesses looking to generate new leads, satisfy customers, increase referrals, reduce marketing costs and much more. As such, they need to be part of any marketing and public-relations campaign, no matter the industry.
However, it’s important to note that all of the great work you do on social media can be upset if you don’t go about creating and managing your posts in the right way. In fact, social media bloopers can cause a company harm if they’re not handled with care.
While there are numerous steps you can take to recover from a social media disaster, it pays to think about ways to avoid them in the first place.
Read on for some tips that you can follow today so that you enjoy the benefits of social media without potential train wrecks.
Keep control of your accounts
Asking your employees to write posts and release updates on social media sites can be beneficial for marketing and PR purposes. Employee blogging can save you time, increase the brand personality you convey online and boost authenticity. However, you should maintain control over your company’s accounts at all times.
Many organizations are left in the lurch when staff members assigned to social media accounts leave the company and take login and user information with them. According to Marcus Arken, founder and CEO of ACalculator, “One common mistake is setting up social media profiles using personal email addresses, which are locked or deleted once an employee leaves, causing issues with access. Worse, some organizations have had disgruntled former employees hijack social media accounts to share anger or opinions in a public forum.”
HMV found out the hard way when it fired hundreds of employees and forgot to change its Twitter password first.
To stop these issues from occurring, you must ensure that all social media accounts are set up using a general company email, rather than a personal contact email for a particular worker. For example, you could use an “email@example.com,” “admin@” or even “socialmedia@” email address for longevity.
Never give only one person total control over the accounts and always change all passwords immediately when anyone with access exits the firm.
Set policies for social media posting
While social media posts provide a wonderful opportunity for marketers and PR people to distribute regular content, you should never publish posts in too much of a rush—potentially dangerous mistakes can happen.
A simple typo or lack of punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence to something very different and potentially inflammatory, and a hastily composed message that you think is capitalizing on a trend or popular hashtag could backfire if you don’t understand the story surrounding it. Brands are frequently criticized on social media for tone-deaf social media posts.
To guard against this, put a specific plan in place for how social media posts will be generated and policies on what will and won’t be allowed. This will ensure that even if you have multiple people posting across accounts, consistency is kept and problems avoided.
Posts should be read over carefully before being published, with attention paid to spelling, grammar, punctuation, links (make sure the links are not broken and pages linked to are not offensive), images added, people or organizations tagged and hashtags and keywords used.
Users need clear instructions on what is not tolerated on social media sites (including language, topics, tone, images and retweet rules), as well as guidelines on keeping the brand personality and look consistent.
Your social media strategy should be clear on how often posts are made and the timeframe in which customer questions or complaints should be addressed.