Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why Companies Need to Closely Manage Social Media Updates

I just read a good article on Social Media Today, 10 Ways Offline Businesses Can Use Social Media. I agree with many of the points brought up in the article. However, I disagree with #4 - about putting your company to work when it comes to social media. Sometimes "too many cooks in the kitchen" can ruin a company's social media marketing campaign. 

I think it depends on the size of your company. If you are a one or two person business, then it's very likely you'll be managing your social media accounts. In larger companies, it's not a good idea to have ALL your employees involved in social media marketing.

I think it's great that companies want to create a positive buzz about their brand, products and services. However, there needs to be a united front when it comes to a company's social media marketing message. As a copywriter and online marketing consultant, I think this is very important that posts/updates are written cohesively with a clear message in mind - and your target market in mind. 

However, it's up to you - the company decision maker - to decide your course of social media action. If your business is more casual and niche, then it might be prudent to include your employees in your social media frenzy.

Here are a few tips to pass along if you decide to allow your employees to post social media updates: 

  • Make sure you either have a meeting or send out a memo as to what messages/updates are deemed appropriate and what's not appropriate. Obviously, you don't want your employees using inappropriate language or trashing competitors - so make sure you spell out CLEARLY your expectations/social media update rules.  
  • Send examples of published posts to employees so they can get a feel for tone and messaging. You don't need to dictate verbatim what they should write, but messaging needs to remain cohesive - this is imperative when it comes to social media marketing.
  • If anyone breaks the company's social media rules, they should be taken out of the mix altogether and not be allowed to post updates anymore - that's just good business sense. Online reputation is everything! You don't want a rebellious employee posting drunk holiday party pictures as a joke to be the demise of your company! 

As I previously mentioned, I don't think it's a good marketing idea for larger companies to have their employees go crazy with social media updates. It could be counter-productive to their job duties,  and employees already spend enough time on their personal Facebook accounts as it is.

I recommend that companies invest in a trained social media marketing consultant, or leave it to their sales, marketing and/or communications staffs to create editorial-driven, professional social media marketing campaigns.


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Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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