Social media is no longer the newbie on the block when it comes to marketing tools for businesses of all sizes and industries. However, even though some say as many more than 81% of small businesses are now using social media, Social Media Today claims as few as 31% have absolutely no social media policy in place.
Although many small businesses may claim they don’t need a Social Media Policy, this just isn’t true. Over the next few minutes I’ll share why your business needs to stop what you’re doing and get a Social Media Policy in place before your next Tweet or Facebook Status update.
1. Educating Employees:
Do your employees know what they can or cannot share on social media, including their personal profiles? If you do not have a Social Media Policy that spells out what is okay and what is forbidden, then your company information is a free-for-all and you’ll be stuck hoping your employees have good judgement. And what happens if they don’t have good judgement, do your managers understand what the consequences are for sharing inappropriate information via social media? A Social Media Policy will help your employees understand what they can and cannot do on social media as well as help your brand enforce these policies.
2. Getting Your Employees Involved:
Many businesses that do not have a Social Media Policy try to protect themselves by not allowing their employees to participate or even worse blocking social networks from company computers. However, as explained in an earlier article “Social Media and Your Small Business’s Employees” these actions can result in less effective marketing efforts and less productive employees. Instead, create and enforce a Social Media Policy that informs employees how to use social media in a manor that helps build the brand.
3. The Ability to Outsource:
Many small businesses are wearing the hat of Social Media Manager, therefore by being the only person currently accessing and managing the business’s social media profiles you may feel you can save time and money by not having a Policy. Although in the beginning of your social media strategy this excuse might make sense, you’ll soon learn how time consuming social media really is. By having a Social Media Policy in place from the beginning, it will be one less item you’ll have to create when it comes time to hire or outsource your social media efforts.
4. Brand Reputation Management:
If you have been following social media at all, it won’t be hard to think of a few brands that single handedly ruined their brand reputation using the tool. The truth is, even if you are not actively using social media, your customers could be talking about your company online. By having a detailed policy on how to manage and respond to these negative outbursts from customers, you’ll be able to keep your business out of the media for poorly handling a customer compliant. Responding to a negative comment the correct way, could be the difference between a PR crisis and proving excellent customer service.
5. Peace of Mind:
When it comes to social media, there is very little that is consistent. Networks are constantly making changes, updating how the networks perform and the terms on what is okay and what isn’t. By having a company wide Social Media Policy in place, you will have peace in mind that at least one item will be consistent, in an otherwise inconsistent world. Protect your brand, employees and get more out of social media by taking the time to invest in a social media policy today.
Convinced that you need a social media policy by not sure how your business can create and implement it? Contact Back On Track Solutions to learn more about how they can help you generate a Social Media Policy immediately, before it’s too late.
Latest posts by Trevor Kohlhepp (see all)
- Stop Using Social Media Without a Social Media Policy - 20 August, 2013
- Using Social Media to Increase Web Traffic - 16 July, 2013
- Create a Mini Sales Team With Social Media - 18 June, 2013