Its Media Monday and I am excited to start this week! Have you ever had one of those verbal faux pas? You know the ones, where you slip and spill the beans on a surprise party or say something less than flattering to a loved one. Well we all do it and we are all a little fearful of doing it again; but the thought of doing it digitally is terrifying.
In the digital world, you cannot take it back – ever. Never ever, ever! Even if you delete it, it is still there. Someone somewhere read what you wrote within a microsecond of you hitting “send”.
Solution? Never let your employees use your business’s social media sites.
Noooooo! That couldn’t be further from the truth! All you need is a few guidelines and a little training then launching a successful social media game plan is at your fingertips… literally.
First, you need to decide what your social presence looks like. Are you a playful company that is going to take pics of employees wearing silly hats? Are you a highly social company that is going to be meeting with lots of famous names? Are you not sure?
Don’t worry. Sometimes it is helpful to define what you are not first. Here are a few generic No’s that might help you get started. Depending on your business, you might scrub a few, or add a few. That’s OK because this is your baby, I mean business, and unlike children, you can tell it what to be.
- No profanity
- Nothing political or religious
- No negativity (i.e. personal opinions of current events)
- Nothing about the competition
- No “drunk” posts (yes, you have to mention that one)
- No proprietary or privileged information
Next ask what is OK. Here are some questions to help you decide:
Is it OK to mention your clients (in a positive way)
- Is it OK to say team member names
- Is it OK to root for a local or national sports team
- Is it OK to be silly (i.e. “the boss ordered in lunch, we had pizza. You are jealous”)
- Are there any areas of your place of business that you cannot mention or photograph?
It is important to note that these rules should apply to your team on their own private social networks in addition to when they are speaking as your business. Be very clear to your team what you expect up front and you will be surprised how well they will respond.
Once you have decided what kind of “face” your business has, and you have outlined the ground rules to your team, let them run with it! Your team will love that you trust them enough to brag on your company (and let’s face it, if you didn’t trust them, you would probably fire them, right?) You will build a stronger social network within your team in addition to your customers. And you will build a better foundation for your business as we move forward in this ever-changing digital world.