Build and manage your reputation with social media
Social media is a very effective business tool but if mismanaged can also cause a major disaster for your company’s reputation. Take for example the famous United Airlines social media crisis in 2017. The airlines brand reputation suffered after social media exposed their dreadful behaviour towards passengers and staff negligence.
Social media exposed United Airlines when they:
- Denied two teenage girls to fly with the airline due to them wearing leggings.
- An Asian-American man was videotaped being dragged off their place as his seat was given to another member
- A pet bunny was killed due to staff negligence
The aftermath of these occurrences was horrific and the airline’s reputation is far from recovered. Now, although social media mishaps happen we cannot deny the fact that if done well, you can see a real impact on your company’s profile. You can learn from major social media disasters to build and manage your company’s reputation and grow a community of authentic fans.
Fear of social media
But so many small businesses are avoiding social media. Why? Social media can have a huge impact on company reputation. Thus explaining their reluctance to stand out online is based on fear.
- Fear that once something’s “out there”, it’s out there for good
- Fear of doing it wrong
- Fear of adding yet another thing to your to-do list
- Fear of losing control of your message if you dare to delegate
These fears are very real. But we live in a world where high-profile brands make very public mistakes daily.
Don’t let worries about what could happen to hold you back from using a tool that could have a powerful impact on your business. Instead, set yourself up for success.
Start by passing responsibility for the company’s social channels to a member of your team. There should always be a single point of contact behind your social media marketing so that you maintain a consistent tone in every communication.
Delegating such a public task can feel quite uncomfortable to start with, but it really is necessary if you’re hoping to grow. Trust the staff you’ve brought on board.
Social media guidelines
Set some strict social media guidelines to follow an adequate company procedure. This would be a simple document outlining desired behaviours, content and tone, expected from team members broadcasting on behalf of the business.
Prompts to help you establish your own set of social guidelines:
- What impression do you want to give to potential clients or investors?
- How do you want people to feel when they interact with your brand?
- What kind of information would you like to share?
- How often would you like to see activity on social media?
- What topics would you like to focus on?
- What topics would you like to stay away from?
- Who would you like to build relationships with online?
- Would you like to use social media for customer service?
Your social media voice
The tone of voice is an important element to define because this should be consistent across all communications, not just social media. Your company voice should be just as recognisable in client emails and product descriptions as it is on Twitter or Facebook. It is important to stay consistent with your tone of voice across all social channels.
It would also be prudent to outline the types of content to be shared across your social channels. Product photography? Your offers and reviews? Press mentions? Tips? Put all of this in black and white for your social media manager to refer to.
Social media planning
Content planning is a big part of social media strategy. Plan your digital content in three-month blocks – this gives you enough scope to plan and promote all launches, events, and key industry dates.
Consider asking your social media manager to develop a comprehensive content plan, and then book a meeting to review and offer feedback before anything gets published.
Safeguard your business reputation by liaising with your social media manager on relevant content which meets the expectations of company standards.
Social media is a great marketing tool. It puts you in a unique position to communicate with audiences you would never ordinarily be exposed to. It helps you connect with customers and collaborators directly.
Social media account review is a complimentary benefit for Prosper² members.
The full version of this article was originally published on Business Advice. Read the original article here.