Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have pervaded every aspect of modern society. Not surprisingly, businesses have (and should have) utilized social media to increase their brand recognition and connect with their consumers. However, social media use for businesses can be risky. Unlike personal profiles, business profiles tend to have several users who can add content. Allowing multiple people to post for a business profile increases the business' risk of inappropriate use of its page. Simply put, no business wants an unhappy employee to be able to post on their social media pages. A single inappropriate post (even if well-intended) can quickly become viral on the internet and damage the business' brand.
Click here for a few examples of social media blunders by well-known brands
In order for a brand to avoid similar scenarios and promote itself in the best light possible, businesses should have a social media policy. Such a policy can establish who has access to posting content, guidelines for appropriate posts and replies, how frequent posts may be made, and potential repercussions for violating the policy. Social media policies may also establish rules by which employees must abide in discussing the business or brand on their personal pages.
By establishing a set of rules by which employees must abide when engaging in social media on behalf of the company, the company can effectively limit its risk and avoid unintentional mistakes which may hurt the business. Unfortunately, the only way to avoid the malicious, intentional, social media postings is for a business to select employees it deems responsible and consistently reevaluate the employees' access.
Nothing can completely insulate a business from social media mistakes. However, social media policies can help avoid unintentional mistakes and create a unified voice for the brand.
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