Five steps to better manage your social media and decrease risk

Social engagement is recognised as a valuable marketing communications tool and many organisations and companies are actively exploiting social media channels to promote their products and services.

With many organisations making up the rules on social media engagement as they go, it?s not surprising that many are blissfully unaware of the risks involved and can fall spectacularly from grace.

For the marketing department the remit must be clear ? a focus on giving the customers what they want, when they want it and in their channel of choice when it comes to content.

A fast response to feedback or queries is vital, but it?s not just monitoring how and what is being said, it?s about proactively providing content that boosts customer loyalty and builds a solid brand.

Here are five steps to help you take control of social media and manage the risks.

1) Make sure you have guidelines in place

Well defined rules should be enforced (working with the IT and HR department) for essentials like password sharing and storage procedures. You should also have the authority to lock down corporate social media accounts should an employee be at risk of posting inappropriate posts, whether by accident or with malicious intent.

It?s important to enlist the help of your HR department to communicate clear guidelines for social engagement and ensure that such policies (for corporate and personal accounts) form part of company employment contracts.  

The Defamation Act 2013 has strengthened the protection for channels such as Facebook and Twitter and encourages the victims of libel to pursue those responsible for damaging or defamatory media posts or reposts which leaves organisations open to legal action if an employee or corporate account is involved.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) provides advice to financial services organisations to maintain best practice and its guidelines cover everything digital, including blogs, micro blogs, client forums, images and video sharing platforms. 

Finally, get your legal teams involved. They can outline the processes and define what checks need to be put in place. When should the two-sets of eyes policy be invoked? How strict should the rules be on Retweeting? Some organisations treat every Tweet or reply on Facebook as a press release ie with rigorous controls as to what can be said and by whom.

(2) Create an effective response process

As customer service enquiries increase, response teams can experience growing pains. Collaboration across internal teams can help to manage social media effectively but it must be very clear what the protocols, procedures and accountability is for responding to a customer service enquiry.

The latest social media risk management platforms allow for multi-site/multi-user ?team? campaigning. This means content can be checked before going live, audit trails record who posted what and when, and inbound queries can be allocated to the right member of the customer service team to be dealt with. 

What are the best tools to use to manage your social media? And how can you use social media analytics to make smarter business decisions? Continue reading to find out.

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