We can all think of a business or celebrity who has gotten into trouble posting something thoughtless or inappropriate on a social media channel. We now live in the age of DEI (diversity, equality, and inclusion), so there is little room for employee error before your reputation is damaged.
Three Ways To Avoid Social Media Posting Errors
Just one bad online encounter can cause irreparable damage to a brand. So to help ensure your business is always living above reproach, here are three ways you can continue to protect your brand on social media.
1. Understand That Social Media Is Real Communication
Because a lot of the communication that takes place online doesn’t happen face-to-face, many people fail to realize that it really is a form of communication. This frame of mind can make people feel like what they say and how they conduct themselves online shouldn’t really reflect what they’re like in person. And while some people can get away with this way of thinking, businesses cannot.
Joanna Belby, a contributor to Forbes.com, reminds us that social media is arguably one of the most direct and conversational ways a company can interact with its customers. With this in mind, you should always keep a professional face when using your company’s social media channels.
2. Create A Social Media Posting Policy
To ensure that all staff and external providers are using your company’s social media channels appropriately, Emily Copp, a contributor to HootSuite.com, recommends creating a social media posting policy. Even the most proficient digital marketer can have a bad day, leaving nothing to chance. All employees need regular training on social media etiquette and the dos and don’t that apply to protect your brand.
Your social media policy should include guidance on:
- Behaviors and tone in postings on social media
- What security is required for accessing various social platforms
- Brand guidelines for sharing images, gifs, text, and video
- Privacy and copyright rules
By taking the time to create a policy, you’re sending a strong message to your team that brand reputation matters to you and your customers. How often have you read about employees and executives losing their jobs due to a wrong social media post? Plus, your company’s social media policy must extend to staff posting under their own profiles where they can be traced back to the business. For example, don’t have a big night and post on social media. Your late-night babble may just cost you your job!
Plus its not just inappropriate content that can get you fired. Sharing confidential information will do it too.
3. Be Aware Of DEI Conflicts
One of the biggest challenges plaguing social media today is managing inappropriate and offensive content like a hate crimes, pornography, and other violence.
While almost all social platforms know they are in the fight of their lives managing anti-social and harmful content – the best way to get ahead of it is to make sure your business controls what it can. For example, one way your company can avoid falling victim to it is as Jessica Ullrich, a contributor to SocialMediaToday.com suggests delete any content posted by your users that have a naughty avatar or harmful content in itself.
Even marginal content should be removed. Set the bar high and defend it with all your might. Have a one-strike rule, and stick to it. No one in your company is above the law or your company policies and code of conduct.
Where there are social media, there will always be the need to fiercely protect your business from inappropriate behavior and misinformation. Don’t let your customers inform you that there’s a problem with content on social media – work tirelessly to get in front of any content that may undo the hard work done to create a reputable brand online.
Therefore use the tips mentioned above to better protect your brand online and if you’re too late – consider a rebrand.