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Every Business Needs a Social Media Policy

Social media is here to stay, and the nearly 3 billion people who maintain an active social media presence would agree. However, when employees are linked to a business, that business’ reputation can either be crippled by an employee’s social media use or enhanced.

Too often we hear about companies coming under fire for something an employee has done, said or shared on social media.

Prohibiting your employees from using social media is not realistic and a violation of their privacy. However, having a strong social media policy drafted for your place of business is a legal and effective tool to utilize. It also allows your employees to become part of the “team building” of your online social media presence.

CC Communications can help you develop an effective social media policy to protect your employees, your company’s reputation, and to enhance your online brand presence.

In this regard, your policy should not be a list of things your employees are not allowed to do. Avoid a long list of restrictions, and instead focus on what your employees are allowed and encouraged to share.

Your employees can be the best advocates for your business. The messages about your products or services can be more credible when coming from an employee. Encourage your staff to use social media to promote products or services they themselves use or currently would recommend to friends and family. It allows your employees the opportunity to have a voice about the products and services they find useful.

Use it as an educational tool

Your social media policy should educate your employees – many people do not realize the information they share on social media can be view virally. Your policy should enhance employee knowledge of how to properly use using privacy settings on social media. Such settings are continuously changing and are dependent upon which social media network you are referencing. It is therefore important to research privacy information prior to the development of your social media policy in order to ensure it is relevant.

Remind your staff that nothing shared online is truly private, and once something is published online, it is difficult for it to be permanently deleted. Use your social media policy as a tool to encourage your staff to #ConnectMORE but, in a more conscientious way!

Be specific!

Before developing a social media policy, know your expectations and limitations.

For instance, the GAP clothing company has a social media policy explicitly states:

 “Don’t even think about it…. Talking about financial information, sales trends, strategies, forecasts, legal issues, future promotional activities. Giving out personal information about customers or employees. Posting confidential or non-public information. Responding to an offensive or negative post by a customer. There’s no winner in that game.”

Your social media policy protects your brand’s image, outlines your expectations and helps you build a team dedicated to the enhancement of your “online goals” for your business. Book your FREE 30 minute consultation with CC Communications regarding the drafting and finalizing of your social media policy today.

Social Media is WORD OF MOUTH, only viral!

Many local business owners argue that a majority of their sales come from word of mouth advertising!

This is great news for those who are becoming more warmed up to the idea of using social media to help build their client Rolodex. Here’s why!

Social media marketing is word of mouth advertising, only digitalized. The opportunity to share information with a significant number of friends on Facebook has enabled small businesses to connect with larger audiences in a smaller amount of time. Keeping an up-to-date profile is therefore no longer a sub-task you should leave for “when I have time,” but rather a necessity to keep your online presence active and your profile traffic consistently growing.

The opportunity to connect with customers is also an advantage that traditional forms of advertising do not allow. Interacting with your customer base can allow you receive marketing insights that you would not have otherwise been privy to. If there is a problem with your product or service, you can find out about it immediately and contact the customer directly.

Using social media to grow your brand also makes your competitors antsy! The sooner you start to amass followers and create a strong identity the harder and more expensive it will be for competitors to join the band wagon. Although using social media to grow your business can be free, if you are having difficulties marketing your products and services to the masses, you may want to consider hiring a PR or marketing agency for help.

Hiring an agency can also streamline the process it will take to get you up and running but also ensure that your content will appeal to a larger target audience. The investment is usually worth the trade-off as you are likely to see a return by communicating with potential clients you may not have connected with any other way. In addition, social media marketing agencies such as CC Communications are continually developing their strategy to accommodate for shifts and changes not only in the market place, but also in the online digital world. Busy business owners may find the assistance rather life-changing as they can rely on an agency to continue to build and develop their online presence while they carry out day-to-day tasks.

Although some businesses thrive in the viral cyberspace by using attention gabbing tactics, it is much more important to maintain a reliable social media presence.