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Social Media for Business and Tweeting the F-Bomb to 8,000 Followers
The risk of going social for business
Many experts advise companies to open social media accounts for their employees, while others advise against it. Promoters tout the benefits of building rapport and trust with customers and positive interactions with your market.
Opponents, on the other hand, can cite events like the recent Twitter debacle where Chrysler Motors posted this beauty of a tweet: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the motor city and yet no one here knows how to drive. f**king”. The original post was NSFW, and while many laughs ensued, imagine the horror and frantic jamming for phones when Chrysler executives saw this doozie!
It emerged that an employee of the company that handles the automakers’ social media campaigns was responsible for the error, most likely tweeting on the Chrysler account instead of a personal account by mistake. The company deleted the errant tweet and issued an apology to Chrysler supporters, which I’m sure most understanding people will soon forgive and forget, but it shows how a company’s reputation can be damaged by social blunders. , even with the best of intentions.
Employees as ambassadors of your brand
Despite the occasional madness, I’m still inclined to recommend opening the channels of communication for your company’s employees via social media. For one, your employees are already on Twitter and Facebook throughout the workday anyway. Yes they are. So you have to consider: do you define allowed distractions in the workplace or do you let your employees choose their own? I’d advise against shaming it, as long as it doesn’t interrupt productivity (hint: with a written social media policy, it can even increase productivity).
Second, employees are more likely to become passionate about the services they provide, since they essentially become public figures with a level of expertise and implicit authority that customers will seek. So why not train employees to effectively represent your brand and give managers and/or employees the crown of your company’s ambassadors through social media marketing.
Establishing the ground rules in written form will allow every manager and employee involved to know what is acceptable and what is not. More importantly, it will convey to everyone exactly what is the purpose concerning the social presence of the company online. Are you going to socialize for reputation management? To provide customer support? Be transparent in your business? To increase your marketing reach? Maybe a combination of these ideas? When all parties know what they’re looking for, you’ll see your social media effectiveness — and your bottom line — skyrocket.
Also, only let those who are willing take on these additional responsibilities, as these people will best represent your brand. It is important to note here that playing a role on social networks in the company must be entirely voluntary!
Establish a workplace social media policy
When establishing company social media policy, it is important to cover aspects such as disclosing proprietary information about the company, revealing information of a personal or private nature, use of profanity, keeping a positive voice, how much time allowed on social sites versus actual activity in the workplace, when and what personal activity on social media is allowed, etc.
Also document the consequences for an employee who violates the rules of the policy. Inform your employees about this document during the training process for their role in social media and have them sign a copy that will go in their personnel file.
Start small, stay fun
Obviously, you can’t just deliver company-wide social media right off the bat. There will likely be a lot of glitches and concerns, and a bit of shake-up until new roles become routine, so it makes sense to start on a smaller scale. Choose a small core of people, such as department heads. Give them a few weeks and ask them to report their experiences at monthly meetings. This is a great time to discuss what works and what doesn’t, and provides an opportunity for regular reflection. Throughout the process, keep in mind the company’s short-term and long-term social media marketing goals.
As your company’s social media experience unfolds, you can further refine your social media policy and eventually reach a point where you are comfortable giving social media roles to people. other employees. While a project manager may have great information to provide to customers and potential customers through your company’s social media, employees with more specific roles and “hands-on” responsibilities will have even more information to provide. regarding your company’s products and services. Anyone can play a role in the customer support provided by your company.
Don’t rule out the idea of running contests and offering incentives that can be awarded individually or to entire departments to keep employees motivated and engaged. Offer your employees prizes such as catered lunches at work, extra days off, “early departures” and even bonuses for reaching specific milestones that you set. Make sport of it and watch your business sail.
Remember, this should be a fun way for your employees to contribute to your company’s goals. If and when social media becomes more of a chore than a desired responsibility, things will spiral out of control. It will always be imperative to keep an open channel of two-way communication up and down the ladder. Establishing a social media committee, meeting on a weekly to monthly basis, is a simple way to do this. Roundtables will encourage brainstorming and give everyone a say in the process.
In the end, you’ll find that the benefits of it all far outweigh any problems you might encounter. The only real problem you might encounter is starting to use social media. There’s a steep learning curve, especially in using social media for business, and it can seem quite daunting. You can appoint a knowledgeable employee as your company’s “social media manager” or hire an outside consultant or marketing firm.
There are social media marketing agencies large and small that can provide training and education to your staff and/or support your company’s social campaigns in whole or in part. Don’t be afraid to seek help from outside sources, as they can provide you with information you might never have thought of, and take away much of the hassle and worry if you are not familiar with social media marketing for business.
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