As noted earlier, “Social Media Monitoring” is the ONE THING every company ought to be doing in Social Media.

What’s the next biggest priority?

Setting a Social Media Policy.

When I first set out to write this series, I have to admit, this was definitely NOT the #2 priority. But I got to thinking about the tremendous sea change that Social Media represents — it’s big, goddammit, it impacts everyone; everyone at every level of a company is often getting involved, PERSONALLY if not always PROFESSIONALLY.

And when you start to think along those lines, you quickly see the need to set up some guard rails early.

I wrote about this topic extensively in the past, and even offered up a template for Social Media Corporate Policies. I hope you’ll take a minute to review those posts – they are still relevant.

It comes down to this: whether you are a company of 10 employees or 10,000, your employees are Yelping, Facebooking, Tweeting, Blogging, Vlogging, etc. And what they do online can absolutely impact the company’s reputation and fortunes.

Imagine the owner of a delicatessen in the suburbs. She employs a cook, a dishwasher and a young cashier. She has NO social media policy. When an unhappy customer bleats on Yelp about how the deli skimped on the ## of meatballs on their grinder, that’s bad. But it’s even worse if the deli’s hot-headed cashier notes the bad review and proceeds to lace into the consumer, for all to see. Imagine how many Yelpers will then avoid that destination?

Maybe it sounded ridiculous at first blush to suggest that a small suburban deli have a Social Media Policy. But can you read that example above and deny that the actions of her young cashier might impact her business?

Next time: “If You Only Do *Three Things in Social Media …” Can you guess what I’ll recommend? Do you disagree with how I’ve been prioritizing this series? Let me know in the comments!

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