Remember when everyone was on MySpace? It seems like another world. Nowadays, exciting new platforms are cropping up all the time. We can choose between Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok… and that’s just the start. Social media really is a mass phenomenon, too. In May 2021, Facebook had as many as 2.8 billion active users. That’s over a third of the global population.
The world has never been so connected, and the opportunities are amazing. Instant, high-visibility mass communication is a powerful branding tool. And a dedicated social media channel is a great way to build a direct, dynamic relationship with your customers. Get it right, and the potential for growth is endless.
Social media pitfalls
Get it wrong, though, and the repercussions can be serious. Celebrities and sportspeople have found themselves in hot water recently for making controversial or offensive statements on Twitter. Brands have moved quickly to drop influencers who behave badly or post inappropriate content. It makes sense: if someone is publicly aligned with your business, what they do and say matters. And with so many people using social media, online misbehaviour is more public than ever. Even a post made many years ago, when Twitter was in its infancy, can hurt feelings – and reputations – in the here and now.
In view of all this, your company’s social media policy requires careful thought. Maybe you don’t employ celebrity spokespeople or YouTube influencers. But your people are almost certainly using social media, so you need to ask yourself a few questions. Do you want your employees to represent your brand online, acting as ambassadors for your values? Or do you prefer if they keep it strictly private and personal, and don’t mention work at all? If they do have your company name on their profile, would you like them to post a disclaimer to make sure everyone knows their opinions and beliefs are their own? If they’re using Twitter for networking as well as fun, would you prefer them to have separate business and personal accounts?
Getting help with your social media policy
The questions don’t stop there. Suppose one of your employees posts something unacceptable, or behaves in an unprofessional way? What if they’re found to be harassing someone online or engaging in trolling? These are relatively new problems, and many managers and business owners find themselves trying to limit the damage once it’s already done. With the eyes of the world on you, it’s a high-pressure situation.
A proactive social media policy is your best weapon against potential problems online. But you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. A supportive IT partner (like Perigon One, for example) can help you to anticipate all the potential issues and put solutions in place. We can also make sure everyone’s informed and on board, at every level of your organisation. That way, you’ll have no unpleasant surprises.
If you would like advice or ongoing support as you face the online future, Perigon One is happy to help. Just get in touch for a chat about your needs.