Social networks have created a socializing frenzy including one-to-one conversations between a brand and its target users. Mediums such as Facebook or Twitter provide businesses, customers and employees a channel to interact in real-time. But the relative openness of these channels portrays a risk to companies since the nature of communication can either be negative or positive and it cannot be controlled. Organizations must have a well-thought out strategy to share content and also to direct the conversations to a more positive mode. Social media has thinned out the line between personal and professional which is why businesses that choose to socialize are at a risk. But these channels can work as a mantra to effective customer engagement only if used the right way. Here are six steps that will help organizations practice safe social media.
1. Create and Impose a Social Media Policy
Brand conversations are going to happen all the time coming from within your staff or even your customers. A social media policy can help you control such conversations by limiting the staff by designation and allowing participation in online conversations. The policy must clearly define what employees can say online and whether they are allowed to represent the organization at all the social mediums. Also according to the policy you must let the social networks know how your company wants to use social media in order to control the flow of information.
2. Create a process for consistent response
Since the creation of content can be used wisely to encourage predictable answers on social mediums then the replies must be crafted accordingly. The right response action will generate the best results. It is essential to maintain the positive image of the organization while documenting a response for any situation. Having a proper workflow of consistent response can save you from a public relations meltdown.
3. Your Social Network Administrators are Important
Make sure you have a policy or a tool that ensures you to grant access to others while keeping administrative rights protected and also that employees must not leave the organization with the access to the company’s social media property.
4. Create general awareness among your employees
It is essential to educate or train employees about policies, social media engagement etc in order to reduce a public relations meltdown risk. Employees must be continuously trained regarding social media and also the risks involved. This will curb the fear factor involved with social media.
5. When in doubt, disclose all
In order to build effective social media you must let your customers trust you. Influencing the primary influencers like bloggers or consumer advocacy groups in order to target the right market is essential to overall success. Being honest and transparent about work is the key to build trust with customers.
6. Listen to the Social chatter but Respond as well
Being aware of all the social media chatter is important but responding on a timely basis is the key to successful social media marketing. This helps to diffuse a number of damaging situations.