The Millennials are Coming! The Millennials are Coming!
One if by land, two if by sea, and three if by Snapchat.
You’ve spent years building your company. You’ve made difficult business decisions and smart power plays. You’ve done everything right …and a 22 year old intern might destroy it with one twitter post.
What is a Twitter anyway? It will probably come as no surprise that social media isn’t just a way for the world to stay connected. There are incredible revenue possibilities available to an organization that can leverage its power correctly. However there is great responsibility that comes with this great power, Peter Parker.
(The image file of the 'Old North Church in Boston' is in the public domain in the United States. Accessed via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page)
Social Media Policies
You can’t jump into the deep end of the pool unless you know how to swim …and your social media coordinator is one post away from doing a Triple Lindy into the Niagara Falls. So what do you do? Social media policies are the smartest thing businesses have started doing since lunch breaks and your company needs one yesterday. This is your plan of attack for an incredibly powerful marketing channel. Decide what kind of voice you are going to use in your posts.
- Who is in charge of drafting and posting the content?
- How is the approval process going to be structured?
- How are you going to respond to negative feedback?
- What happens if something goes wrong?
Why Do Social Media Policies Matter?
The Telegraph in the UK recently produced a list of the “Five Biggest Social Media Blunders of 2013” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/social-media/10252609/Five-biggest-social-media-blunders-of-2013.html) If you think your company is strong enough to recover from any of these train wrecks, more power to you. A clear social media policy keeps some of these disasters at bay .. or you can always just buy a helmet. The choice is yours.
But that’s not all folks! There is also the matter of personal social media activity. Everyone in your organization is probably a member of a social media network … check that, they are probably a member of four social media networks. With the amount of user generated content that is shared every day on social networks, it is imperative that you decide what is acceptable and unacceptable for your employees to post. You may not need any rules here quite frankly. However if you work with any information that should not be shared with the entire world, I would break out your #2 pencil and get something on paper. Drawing a clear line in the sand in regards to personal social media activity will prove invaluable for your company should disaster strike. Do you want to throw all the computers away yet? Before you do, remember that there is a lot of money in social media. If wielded correctly then you have the power, He-Man.
Just make sure an intern doesn’t accidently drop an F-bomb in their next post.
- Introducing Snapchat, http://www.snapchat.com/
- 14 Questions to Ask When Developing Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Policy, Taylor Corrado, October 21, 2013, http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/nonprofit-questions-to-ask-social-media-policy-list
(All credit and accolades are for Brien Baumgartner who is the author and content creator of this post.)