Social media for many of us is becoming second nature. These little apps on our phones are such an integral part of our lives that we don’t even give a second thought as to how and why we use them. Well, we think you should.
Here are 4 reasons why no matter how big or small your business is, you need a social media policy.
1. Create a distinction between work and home
If you’re a business owner, you naturally want to pour as much of yourself into your business as possible. In many cases, you are the face of the business and you want your personality to shine through, that’s your brand. In the process of creating a brand image, it’s very easy to forget that everything that goes onto your social media is there for the world to see, and it’s there forever.
A social media policy can help you define the line between yourself and your work persona. Social media is great to let your customers find out a bit more about you, but be careful not to let them see too much especially when it’s not relevant to your work or the reason they follow you. Customers will switch off if they followed you for your expertise on food and instead find your profile full of cat pictures. While there may be one or two exceptions, broadly speaking your social media persona should not have any strong religious, political or otherwise potentially divisive views.
2. Protect your reputation
Social media is a powerful tool to introduce your business to new clients. If used well, it’s also your number one hub for updates, customer service enquiries and proclaiming to the world what you do and who you are. It should go without saying that you need to use social media to show yourself, your employees and your business in the best light, and this involves protecting your reputation from potential “black marks”.
These “black marks” could come in a variety of forms. It could be a poorly judged post or comment that causes upset, a leak of sensitive information, something an employee says reflecting on your company in a negative light or perhaps someone linked to the company behaving in an undesirable way. It’s a bit of a minefield out there! Your social media policy can help your team be clear on what is and isn’t okay to post, as well as how to respond to any negativity that may occur.
3. Boost your reputation
Moving on from protecting your reputation, let’s talk about how to boost it! Say you see a negative review or you post something that got a hostile response, you can still hold up your hands and react in a way that’s classy, humble and a great reflection on you, your team and your company! With the wide reach of social media, you will not only be resolving an issue of one customer but potentially impressing others on your page. Provided, of course, your social media policy outlines how to do so.
There are plenty of ways social media can help raise your profile. Your employees can be your strongest advocates if they’re empowered to use social media well, both personally and on behalf of your business. When everyone is clear on how they are expected to use social media, you have a fantastic opportunity to educate new and existing customers, manage customer service and broaden your reach.
4. Clarify your voice and position
Perhaps the most important part of social media is the social aspect. You have a unique opportunity to learn what your audience is passionate about and join the discussion. Engagement with your fans is hugely important, but you need to outline how far you want your employees to be involved with fans before checking with management for input. Questions to consider are the level of technical advice they can give, can they offer vouchers to loyal or disgruntled customers, do you want any non-business chat such as sport or current affairs on your page and if so, is anything off limits? Social media can be your strongest ally when it comes to great customer relations, but remember whatever is posted, the world will see. The voice and position really do need to be absolutely right.
Overwhelming? Yes, it can be! The good news is that answering these questions and clarifying your position is a key component of our social media support. Do you need help navigating the murky waters of social media?
If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.