How to avoid a social media catastrophe

It’s your responsibility as an employer to communicate and manage how social media is used within your business.

In research carried out by Nixon Peabody, it was discovered that the top five social media issues for businesses include:

  1. Companies and their employees approach social media differently;
  2. Urge employees to separate their personal and professional digital lives;
  3. Liability risks during employment screening;
  4. Liability risks during employment; and
  5. Liability risks after employment.
In order to avoid the most common pitfalls, that you should make sure your social media accounts are secure and only key people have the login details or access to finding the login details. Watch what you comment on or post about as a company as it suggests that the whole company, and management, feel the same way.

With over 72 per cent of internet users now active on social media, the likelihood of your customers or clients coming in to contact with you, or communicating with you via your social media channels is incredibly high. Therefore you need to ensure that the voice projected over Twitter, Facebook, G+ and other platforms match your corporate identity.

So how can you keep your keep your business safe on social media? 

Implement a social media policy

To avoid legal problems, you should ensure that you have a social media policy in place which covers the following:

Who has access to your social media accounts?

Whether it’s the company account or a personal business account for forging relationships with clients and keeping an eye on competitors, you need to know who is publicly representing your company online. 

Keep a count of who has can manage and post! A social media management system such as Hootsuite, which allows multiple collaborators and managers to post from a single point of contact, is an easy way to monitor who is posting what, and when, online.

Training

Offer advice on tone of voice, style, and content. Be sure to cover what’s acceptable and what’s not (swearing, for example). 

Be careful not to stifle your employee’s personalities though as people connect to people, not a brand.

Dealing with complaints from customers or clients publically online

Any complaints need to be dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally. A template for quickly addressing concerns and criticism will ensure that your company doesn’t find itself in the midst of an embarrassing public feud.

With social media set to become even more of a core part of business (69 per cent of marketers reported that they planned to increase their social media usage over the coming year), it’s more important than ever to get your policies in check. The benefits of a well-run social media campaign can include everything from increased sales and exposed to improved sales and even lead generation. However, a poorly executed operation could result in exactly the opposite.

In this infographic, we look at the most popular social media channels used by businesses today, and what this could mean for your company.

Andrew Brammer is Business Defence Partner and Head of Regulatory Law at Cartwright King.

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