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Social media rules of engagement - part two

04 June 2013 | 09:54 am

coneKeep the peace

Be nice. This shouldn’t even have to be said but I’m afraid that there have been far too many instances of companies being inconsiderate or downright rude to customers on social media platforms.

This is extremely damaging to a company’s reputation, as it can be perceived as bullying. Watch the tone of your posting, what you may think of as being tongue-in-cheek banter can come across as really offensive.

Out of the flames...

If someone in the organisation does overstep the mark and send offensive tweets or posts. Do not say that you’ve been hacked when it is obvious that you have not, the mass groan will be heard from space. If you’ve allowed access to your social media accounts, and therefore control over your reputation, to someone that doesn’t understand the power of social media or is not trained in customer relationship management, you are ultimately responsible. The best you can do is admit you’ve made a mistake and not allow it to happen again.

Similarly, if you’ve allowed an ex-employee to walk off with the Twitter and Facebook passwords and they ‘go rogue’ this is also your responsibility.

Into the fire

No flaming, trolling or troll baiting.

Avoid mud slinging

If your competitor screws up it can be very tempting to join in the online feeding frenzy. Resist the temptation. Keep your focus on the good things your organisation is doing. Making them look bad will not make you look better; it’ll just make you look smug and mean.

Handle complaints

Do not delete complaints in the hope that they will go away, they rarely do.  Respond to them with the intention of fixing the problem. Be transparent and show that you are doing positive things to improve the situation. Do not accept blame or responsibility until you know the facts, simply state that you are sorry for their experience and express your willingness to help.

Mind your Ps and Qs

Spell words correctly and check you grammar. Grammatical errors are unprofessional. Treat every post as if it’s an important marketing document and that the readers are all highly literate. Studies suggest that companies who allow spelling mistakes to slip through are not trusted and lose sales as a result. Remember that while some may be offended by bad grammar; good grammar will not offend anybody. Don't swear.

Get strategic

Draw up a list of social media guidelines for your company. Anyone who has access to your company’s social media accounts should be trained to deal with the many social media risk management issues that can arise.

Protect and cover

If you have many social media accounts for your business, protect passwords, moderate and monitor them using a social media management platform such as CrowdControlHQ

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