CALGARY, Alta. April 27, 2017/ Troy Media/ – Compliance, it is an issue for businesses large and small. While many large companies have already switched onto the need for having a social media governance strategy, many small and mid-sized business are still behind. With that in mind, here are some thoughts on how social media governance can work for you.
What is it?
More than just another marketing buzzword, the process is a way to minimize risks to the online presence of your business. This includes your social media feeds, websites, and other online marketing activities. The goal is to eliminate the potential for reputational damage – for example, the recent United Airline passenger debacle.
There you have it; social media governance can help you to manage the reputation of your business while continuing to engage with your customers.
But, beyond the theory, what are the steps to an effectively managing risk in your social media presence?
Have a clear goal
Most social media fails when the company does not have a clear goal and guidelines to managing their social media presence. As such, one of the first steps to managing your social media presence is to define your goals.
Part of this includes identifying which business needs are being addressed through social media. You also want to make sure you set clear internal practices for how to manage you accounts, including who is responsible and criteria for content. Following these steps will help your company to develop a brand image which your customers will recognize and respect.
Give it support
Your social media presence cannot develop without the right amount of support. This includes proper resourcing both internally and externally. Examples include designating social media managers and then working with third party service providers and software solutions to support your work.
Remember, good social media does not exist in a vacuum. As such, you need to schedule regular reviews of your activities to figure out what works and what doesn’t and to identify new ways to engage with your customers.
In the end, your online presence need to be actively managed. While this does not mean having a full-time person watching your twitter feed every day, it does mean that you to need to apply the right level of resources to make sure your presence is dynamic.
You’re never too old to learn
Speaking of being dynamic, another element to effective social media governance is education. This means looking at which innovations are being applied to building an online presence today.
In addition, you want to keep abreast of what your competitors are up to. Don’t troll them, instead look at what is and what isn’t working for them and then learn the why’s behind the result.
Don’t run with scissors
OK, this is something that we all learn in elementary school and it is probably something we have all done a one point or another. The point being that accidents happen and you need to have a plan for how to reach when things go wrong.
In some ways, this can be the most important element of any governance plan – largely because so few companies get crisis management right. The first step is to own the problem, don’t be like Fox News or Uber and try to sweep it under the rug. Instead, face the issue head on and then announce a plan to fix it.
However, the trick is to follow through. Most people will give your business a second change as long as you make good on your promised to improve. But if you don’t, you will burn what little credibility will have.
Social media governance is not just for large companies. Sure, a small business won’t have the same regulatory concerns as a bank, but you still want to apply the same principles to managing your online presence. Remember to have a clear goal in mind, give your social media initiatives the right amount of resources, and then always look for opportunities to learn.
Lastly, have a clear plan in place for what to do when things go wrong. As we have seen in the news, when it happens the companies which suffer the most are the ones which don’t face up to the issue and then fail to follow through on their promises.
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