This is the first of a series of articles featuring potential social media issues your company may encounter. In this article, we will discover the top four reasons branded social media accounts encounter crisis.
A tweet that bluntly states a personal opinion. A photo that shows off a side of your company clearly outside your established branding. These are some of the missteps in social media management that can cost brands followers and potential brand advocates. In spirit of prevention is the best medicine, let’s look at some common mistakes and how to prevent your brand from becoming the next headline.
What exactly are the top four errors of social media mismanagement?
Posting Accidentally from a Personal Device
Accidentally posting to an account from your personal device is probably the most innocent of mistakes.
When your community manager is managing more than one account, it’s all too easy to accidentally post something that is off your brand’s topic; perhaps it is a politically-incorrect joke or a strong personal opinion about something.
How can this be avoided?
The solution is quite simple: set firm guidelines in place that prohibit posting to your company’s account from a personal device, or take it a step forward by enacting a “no personal social networking during business hours” policy. Make sure each employee that handles your accounts understands the company policy and that it is enforced. Also have a clear procedure in place for if an event like this does occur and the nature of the errant social post.
Disgruntled Employee Posts
You’ve fired Joe Employee and he’s got a serious gripe against the company now. Not a great situation. Obviously, you can’t keep bad employees, but what happens when you fire or let them go and you’re not on good terms?
Having an “elimination protocol” in place will prevent dirty laundry from going out on the social “clothesline”. While not much can be done concerning their personal account usage beyond whatever non disclosure agreements they might have signed, having a policy in place to review all access to social channels can prevent further issues.
Enforce a company policy in that limits exactly who has access to your company’s social accounts, and if one of your social media managers is let go immediately change all logins and review the security information attached to these accounts that they had access to.
Failure to Keep on Trend with the News
Not doing your research before using a topic or even a hashtag can cause brand reputation issues.
Avoid sensitive or controversial topics by properly researching your posts thoroughly beforehand. Creating a content calendar will help keep social posts from being reactionary and allow other team members opportunity to review content for tone. It is also important to review current news and trends to any social posts that might be scheduled to go out shortly. If your social media management team is large, allocate one or two members to review breaking news and adjusting upcoming content accordingly.
Failure to Have a Clear Strategy
In this scenario, your community manager has been passionate about your brand and engaging with your audience, but happens to cross that line of good taste and causes a huge backlash. What could be done to avoid this?
Have a clear set of guidelines upfront with your social media managers. Explain what is and isn’t expected of them, and how far your company goes into the so-called “gray area” of what is socially acceptable. Generally, it’s best to be posting on the side of caution with social media, as one slight mis-tweet can cause a huge backfiring from audiences. Review your strategy with your team frequently, and update it as your company grows.
Perhaps your corporate account has never encountered one or more of these social media mismanagement mistakes, or maybe you read this blog post and found yourself cringing in recall of a community management mistake. Here at Seapoint Digital, we specialize in making sure your company’s voice is heard clearly in the digital landscape. Contact us today to get started on the right track socially.