Anyone can create an account on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or another social media site quickly and at no cost. However, that does not mean that everyone is qualified to use social media. Businesses in particular must be wary of what they post on social media accounts because the wrong information can cause confusion, security breaches, and public relations issues. To keep your business out of hot water online, follow these social medial security tips from online marketing consulting experts.
The U.S. Army has a 52-page handbook explaining what soldiers and civilians should and should not post online. If the Army devotes 52 pages to this topic, it must be important. Training employees about what they should be posting on personal and business social media accounts is well worth the time and effort. Informed employees are less likely to post false or confidential information regarding the company, reducing potential business exposure.
Online conversations tend to be casual so employees may not realize the harm they could cause. By emphasizing and reemphasizing safe social media behavior, an employer protects everyone involved. Provide employees with specific examples of social media posts that are unacceptable and suggest ways to make these posts safer. Clearly state what topics are taboo such as information regarding unreleased products, details about litigation in process, and financial data that has not been published.
Advise employees to consider how the information they are about to post would be handed by the competition. In the Army, a simple GPS check-in on Facebook could alert the enemy of the location of a unit, compromising its safety. While the situation may not be as dire in the corporate world, an unhappy former employee or a serious competitor could do some damage with certain information.
Employees who are responsible for making social media posts on behalf of a company should receive additional training. In addition to understanding expected standards of conduct for social media posts and comments, they should ensure that their actions align with the corporate social media strategy. When in doubt, they should know whom to turn to for guidance.
Online marketing consulting firms are staffed with social media experts who know what constitutes acceptable behavior. Rather than putting the reputation of your business at risk, contract an expert at Illumination Consulting to assist with social media efforts. Whether the consultant performs these services on an ongoing basis or teaches employees about recommended behavior, the business will be in good hands.