Social media can be a great way to provide content and gain insight from customers and potential clients and collaborate with industry thought leaders, colleagues and partners. It has also proven to be an easy tool for lead generation and creating awareness of your organization's products and services. Unfortunately, some companies have major mishaps on social media when they do not understand their place on the internet.
Would you like to use social media to represent your company but aren't quite sure what the proper etiquette is? To help get you started, here is a simple “what to do” and “what NOT to do” set of guidelines.
What to do:
DO ask questions. If you are unsure about posting a particular comment, response or content, its better to ask your Social Media Manager first. They might know something you don't and you do not want to misrepresent your organization.
DO put thought into every post you create. Ask yourself these three questions:
- Should I direct this to a specific audience?
- Is this content helpful/important?
- How will this content be received?
Remember, a post cannot be “undone” once others view and read it.
DO identify yourself as an employee of the organization you work for. Also, make sure to cite any content you share with the appropriate source. Use your profile and background history to disclose your affiliation with your organization and your area of expertise.
DO engage in meaningful discussions that will create a positive view of yourself and the organization you represent.
DO interact with industry thought leaders, clients, co-workers and your professional network.
DO inform your Social Media Manager of any problems, negative information or issues you encounter.
What NOT to do:
Do NOT lie. Statements about your organization need to be accurate with honest opinions, recommendations, and experiences.
Do NOT post an inappropriate photo as a profile photo. When posting personal photos, remember your audience.
Do NOT post inappropriate photos of others and take consideration when tagging others in photos.
Do NOT misrepresent yourself or your company by sharing content that is inaccurate or dishonest.
Do NOT share deep, personal information about yourself. Your social media accounts are not your diary.
Do NOT engage in an argument or speak negatively about employees, customers, potential prospects, or competitors.
In the end, always remember that social media sites are public. As a rule of thumb, it’s best not to post anything that you wouldn’t want your grandma, mother-in-law or your boss to see.