Seven tips for smart social media

Corporate social media can go wrong in many ways, but the good news is that most can be fixed by quickly taking responsibility and humbly committing to right any harm done.

Last week we saw what happens when social media can really go wrong when the social media team at retail giant Harvey Norman created an uproar, first in response to sustained criticism on Twitter. regarding her workplace relations practices, then when she decided to deal with it by blocking her detractors, then brutally deleting her Twitter account.

It’s an object lesson in how do not to run a corporate social media account and it quickly turned into a public relations disaster that business owners and brands can learn from.

I’ve been at the heart of social media for over a decade, as an influencer and owner of two companies, including a digital marketplace that connects brands and talents.

Here are my key tips for not ending up in the social media hall of shame:

Policies and procedures

Take the time and / or expense to develop a comprehensive set of social media protocols covering everything from the tone of your business to training on diversity issues, product training, writing skills, procedures for writing. monitoring and verification and, of course, a solid set of crisis communication protocols. Employ or hire social media professionals who are diligent and detail-oriented; do not entrust the maintenance of social media accounts to the intern or work experience student.

Live the values ​​of your brand

Know the values ​​your brand stands for and reflect them in every post and public interaction. For most brands, this will mean quick and friendly responses at a minimum. Understand your brand’s voice, whether it’s cool, mysterious, serious, or fun. Don’t feed the trolls; respond politely, but don’t engage.

Take care of yourself there

With almost exponential reach – especially if something goes wrong – social media is arguably as important to your brand as a TV ad or billboard. Put in time, thought, effort, and assets, and it can reward your investment many times over. Post without proper processes and you could be famous for all the wrong reasons.

Choose caution

Understanding your brand values ​​means you need to know what the hot topics are in your industry and familiarize yourself with the general news cycle. Posting in favor of ‘Black Lives Matter’ may sound like a great business position, but if you don’t understand the issues and nuances, it can quickly come back to bite you. Do your homework or better yet, don’t.

Respect, honesty, transparency

Treat your customers and everyone on your social networks with respect. You might not like their opinions, but responding with honesty and transparency – which can include following up on issues and getting a response – will always gain more fans and new customers than dismissal, neglect. or sarcasm.

Acknowledge your mistakes on social media

Mistakes do happen and when they do it’s important to stand out and grab hold of them, as fashionista Pip Edwards did when she posted a photo of an upside down Aboriginal flag . On the same day, she appeared to contradict herself by saying that Australia’s public holiday should not be celebrated, before posting photos of herself on an Australia holiday. All in all, it was a bit of a disaster for the Founder and owner of PE Nation, but she quickly apologized and took full responsibility for the errors, thereby avoiding further scrutiny or other brand damage that would have been caused by offering an apology or attempting to dodge the problem.

Think carefully

It’s tempting to respond to criticism – especially when it seems unwarranted – by blocking the user or deploying sarcastic emojis, which only further fuels the flames of outrage. Of course, there will always be real trolls to block out, but maintaining a respectful and helpful tone and avoiding the “block” button is a more dignified and elegant approach.

About Madeline Powers

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