Set Up Your Team For Social Media Success
Lay Out The Ground Rules Clearly For a Smooth Ride
There are two types of businesses in today’s world: the ones that have found themselves under fire on social media at some point, and the ones who are still just setting up their social media strategy to really dive in to the world of digital marketing. If you are part of the latter group, consider yourself lucky; you are in a perfect position to set up clear social media guidelines and expectations within your organization in order to prevent potential controversy. If you are one of the former, don’t worry. Given the nature of social media– the limitations to communicating tone, the air of anonymity which causes people to be more reactive with their words, and the impulsive, in-the-moment feeling that comes with it– misunderstandings and snafus are bound to happen. The good news is that refining your current social media guidelines (or remedying your lack of them!) can prevent controversy in the future.
Here are five crucial elements of a social media strategy for any organization:
1) Everyone who may be posting should be aware which topics are appropriate and which are not. Be exceedingly clear here. Make a list of topics that are and are not appropriate, and go over the list with anyone within the company who will be posting on any of your social media platforms.
2) Update your social media rules regularly. Things change… specifically, your organization, industry, what your clients are talking about, and also social media platforms themselves. You may need to add topics to your list of what is or is not appropriate, or add new rules set out by one of your platforms. Stay on top of these changes and keep your team informed.
3) An approval process for posts. This isn’t crucial for every organization, but if you are in a highly sensitive industry, this is a must. Create a process to ensure that multiple sets of eyes see each post before it’s posted.
4) An educated social media team (or person). I’m not talking about their degree here. It’s up to you to educate your social media person or people on your brand, tone and social media protocol. A solid understanding of these areas ensures that they will choose the right topics to post about and avoid unintentional controversy. It also enables them to identify real controversy and respond appropriately in a timely manner.
5) A crisis communication plan. If you have this prepared in advance, your team can respond to any controversy that pops up in a proactive and strategic way, rather than a reactive way. Your social media team will know exactly how to handle the situation, whether that means responding to the post directly, using a pre-written response, or passing it off to a higher-up.
Don’t leave your social media strategy up to guesswork, cross your fingers and hope for the best! As with most things, having a plan and being prepared is the key to success. Empower your team with the guidelines and knowledge they need, and your organization is sure to see great results online.