As social media continues to grow, many things can and do go wrong for business. The risks extend beyond reputational damage and a few disgruntled customers on Facebook. Most businesses though are unprepared with the complexities of these evolving technologies.
Social media can impact organisations through both internal and external sources. As such there is no one fits all approach to managing social media risks. For any organisation, large or small, an approach which incorporates a number of strategies is the most effective.
The following 5 key strategies are important to include in your approach.
1. Social media policy
A policy is the lynchpin in any organisation to protecting a business. Even if your organisation does not use social media it is certain that your employees, customers and stakeholders do. The advantage of a policy is that it assists to set parameters around what is acceptable and not acceptable behaviour for everyone inside and outside of the workplace. Employees need to be part of the process of developing a policy.
2. Social media risk audit
Whether your business has been using social media for years or is about to start a social media risk audit is valuable. It helps a business in determining what the social media risks are and where they will likely come from. Regularly assessing these risks is important to understanding what the likely impact on a business could be. So the audit is a helpful tool to use whenever updating your policy.
3. Regulation and monitoring
It is crucial to include the social media policy as part of a HR Management Strategy which has discipline and termination procedures for employees. A policy without consequences is unlikely to be very effective. Making employees aware of these procedures is also necessary so they can sign off on it. Part of this process also involves monitoring what is being said about your brand so that you are aware of any potential issues that could arise.
4. Training and education
Social media training and education for employees is part on the ongoing development of having a policy and using social media. Helping employees to understand what is expected of them is key to having employees on board, working with you and keeping the company protected. It also keeps employees safe so that they don’t lose their job over an erratic post.
5. Build your online reputation
It’s not enough to have a social media presence, business needs to be actively involved and build their credibility. Through developing online networks and getting involved in conversations a
business can start to build an audience and develop trust. This type of community is essential should something go wrong for a business.
One of the most fundamental mistakes business makes is they fail to engage in the process of managing social media risks. It is, however, the role of each organisation to plan, manage, guide and lead for the effective and safe use of social media inside and outside of the workplace.
About the Author:
Anna Cairo is an author, speaker and qualified online communications professional. She is a social media expert who specialises in social media workplace issues particularly risks and impacts, policy, opportunities and education. Anna has both theoretical and practical experience and she has just published her first book – The Business of Being Social. Anna consults, writes and speaks on a number of social media issues in the workplace.
The Business of Being Social is an essential reference every business needs to have in their workplace to harness the untapped potential of social media as well as manage social media risks inside and outside the workplace. To purchase a copy go to: http://www.annacairo.com/resources/books/
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