If you’re still thinking of social media as just another way to market your business, you may be putting your company at risk. Social media can be great for getting your message out to the broadest audience, but it’s a door that opens both ways and has inherent risks. When your business is the subject of unflattering public commentary, it can threaten your reputation, your brand, your message, your identity and even your business continuity. So where should a company begin to protect themselves with this evolving media?
Develop a social media use policy
This is a guidance policy for your employees to follow. Many companies have tried to restrict access to social media at work, and many have failed. If your company doesn’t have strict security reasons that prohibit access, it’s better to come up with reasonable boundaries and to communicate them clearly. Employees will respect you for it and that will be reflected in their communications.
Monitor the social media landscape
If you haven’t done this before, beware—you may be surprised at what you find. The Web is wide open for honest reviews, exaggerated grievances and downright meanness. To protect your company’s reputation and resources, you want to always be one step ahead with correct information and suitable responses if the social conversation reflects badly on your company. The first step lies in looking and listening.
The benefits for business when engaged in the public conversation are vast. The social landscape can reveal the feelings and opinions of your customers and clients. It’s a great way to take the pulse of your brand and can uncover a goldmine of ideas for improvements for your product management team. It can also provide early hints of emerging issues and threats, and will pinpoint exactly where your company’s public message is missing the mark. You can take the information you gain from this to refine or reinforce your corporate message, and even see how your competition is regarded in the cybersphere.
Find out more about social media for BC/DR professional from our new webinar series and brief: Social Media in a Crisis: Friend or Foe?