Social media is a major part of people’s lives. Considering its pervasiveness, you can be sure that it will affect your business in some way. This can be good and bad for your business. Having a voice on social media can make your company seem more relatable. But an employee misbehaving on social media can reflect badly on you. Here are some things that you can do so that your company has the right protection when you deal with social media.
Be Aware Of What Is Out There
If your conception of social media is mainly Facebook, then you might need a refresher. Social media is much more than a single platform. There are several popular ones that you need to know. Before you make any decisions about social media, you should take steps to familiarize yourself with what is out there. The current big ones right now are Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, and Twitter. You need to understand what each platform represents and how your employees can use them.
Being aware of the limitations and capabilities of the various social media platforms can help you craft the right method of handling them. For example, you would know how to ensure that YouTube videos of your workplace always put you in a good light. You can do this by presenting your videos on the platform. Other strategies can present themselves, depending on what platform you are dealing with.
Know The Compliance Rules
It might surprise you that some social media platforms can make end up with your company unintentionally violating a variety of compliance regulations. If you are in an industry that requires the strict following of compliance, then you need to be more vigilant.
For example, the HIPAA is there to ensure that protected health information does not leak out. Social media can potentially be a big leak, especially when your workers are not careful. They might even think they are helping by sharing patient anecdotes. Avoid incidents like these by knowing how the various compliance rules interact with social media and educate your employees on them. Some compliance rules might even require you to archive social media posts, so you need to implement archiving processes. Fortunately, there are several archiving systems out there that will make this easy.
Educate Your Employees
One of the problems with social media is that employees don’t take it seriously. They think of it as a place to vent and connect with other people. They often forget about their connection to your company. This is a bad thing since the connection is still there. To better control your employees, you should sit them down and educate them on how they can potentially harm the business, even if they had no intention to. For example, an employee excited about your new product might accidentally leak it. This can disrupt your planned marketing strategy or even reveal it before it is ready for release.
Employees should know that their social media posts have consequences. This can convince them to be much more careful about their posts.
Have A Solid Social Media Policy
You can avoid the confusion about social media postings by having a set social media policy. Sitting down with your management team and writing down the company’s procedures and rules can ensure that problems don’t come up in the future. A good idea would be to have two separate social media policies. One of them is for your company employees’ social media accounts. This is so that they don’t violate any confidentiality agreements or anything similar. Another is for your company’s corporate social media accounts. This is more for setting down the policies of behavior that the corporate account has to follow.
The corporate accounts need to be very careful since people know of their connection to your company. Many people will then think that whatever the account says is company policy. If it says something regrettable, even deletions may not be enough to stop the controversy. Screenshots of the bad behavior will likely spread like wildfire. If you want to prevent this from happening, it is much better to control how the social media account behaves.
Handle Disgruntled Employees
Another source of social media drama is disgruntled employees airing dirty laundry. You can avoid this by ensuring your people are happy at their work. Have your management team focus on monitoring employee satisfaction so that you know what employee concerns there are and how to respond to them.
Social media is a powerful tool for many companies. But it can also cause major problems for you. Take steps to avoid internet firestorms, and you can be sure that it is worth the effort.