Business

Craft a Solid Social Media Policy

ID-100144400Imagine the following occurring at your business. You hire a social media marketing agency to help develop and implement social media strategies for your brand’s advertising and marketing programs. You give the staff access to your corporate accounts. One day you learn that a staff member from the agency drops the F-bomb while tweeting about your industry on your corporate account.  This is the nightmare the Chrysler Group faced.

Crafting a social media policy that outlines your organizations’ guidelines for communicating online saves you from these types of public embarrassments.

Consider this incident.  You notice the Internet is slow. Your IT team works on the problem. They discover the problem is due to issues pertaining to the bandwidth. Too many items have been downloaded, and your IT team attributes those items to the thousands of minutes your employees consumed on Pandora and YouTube. This is a what Procter & Gamble endured.

Don’t let these incidents happen to you.

A social media policy helps you to manage and monitor discussions about the company as well as the use of social media networks by employees.

When you write your policy, account for the company’s personal ethics. In other words, ensure the policy upholds the values of the organization. The policy needs to have a strong legal backbone that addresses issues, such as securing trade secrets, compliance with federal and state laws, privacy and employee liability.  Keep the policy authentic. Even though many generic templates are available online your businesses policy must speak to the company’s culture and focus on the unique ways the business can give value on social networking platforms.

Start putting your policy together with a task force of social media evangelists at your company and upper management. Outline an approval process and determine who’ll have authority over the social media networks. Clearly establish the content identifying what’s acceptable and what’s unacceptable. Next, do some research. Find effective social media policies and learn how these policies are evolving by visiting the National Labor Relations Board. The Board puts out a report that discusses different social media policies.

Remember, a social media policy avoids risks by protecting the company’s online brand.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Business, Extra

CEOs’ Use of Facebook

hand working businessMore CEOs are gravitating toward social media to capture insightful information and to participate in online chats and conversations. One popular social networking site they are choosing to appear on is Facebook.

Facebook has dominated the social networking landscape. It has more than one billion active users. An estimated 143 million Americans have a Facebook profile, according to a 2012 “Social Habit” report from Edison Research and Arbitron, and many of them are dedicated users.   The report found nearly a quarter of Facebook users check their account at least five times a day.

Researchers for the 2012 CEO.com Social CEO study combed through Facebook filtering out CEOs with accurate profiles, relevant content and a good number of followers. They found as many as 38 CEOs from Fortune 500 companies use the site.

However, Edison Research and Arbitron’s discovery that Facebook is the dominant platform for brand-following behavior and that it’s the network that influences respondents buying decisions the most is resonating with CEOs.

Some businesses hear “Facebook” and only think its relevant to the B2C side of business; however, they’re mistaken. The social media platform can serve their B2B side as well.  In fact, Hubspot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing report learned the 43 percent of B2B companies who were questioned acquired their customers using Facebook.

They use the platform to build awareness, generate leads and build thought-leadership.  In addition, they customize offers throughout each stage of the sales funnel to connect with people on Facebook.

CEOs can take advantage of the Facebook’s social networking platform by providing their perspectives and insight, responding to customer feedback, seeking suggestions for new products and services and understanding EdgeRank.

Photo Courtesy: GraphicStock.com

Do you think CEOs should have a presence on Facebook? Why or why not?

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Read more:

Understanding Edge Rank

Learn more on this topic in the ExecSense webinar, “CEO Best Practices for Using Facebook to Land New Customers.”