Social media guidelines for businesses

Remember that whatever you upload can be downloaded by anyone

It supports your business strategy

In July of 2014, I asked if you had ever experienced blowback from a poorly or hastily written email. I added–“if not, you’re either incredibly lucky or off-the-scale in emotional intelligence!” Be aware that an intemperate or poorly written email can alienate the most loyal customer.

This dynamic is especially applicable to your social media posts and tweets. Because so many folks will read them, your social media business communications demand highly focused, word-by-word review and editing to ensure they accurately communicate your brand and avoid alienating customers. To ensure this, you need dedicated marketing/public relations professionals who will carefully articulate your communications and monitor customer feedback.

Above all, your social media content needs to be engaging, encouraging people to interact with your brand in the longer term. For example, consider sharing behind-the-scenes information about your products and services that confirms your dedication to quality and customer satisfaction. Even content from other sources can help if it supports your business strategy.

Selecting the right social media platforms

  • Personal Facebook profiles, LinkedIn accounts, and Twitter handles are now requisite for companies and professionals alike. It makes sense to begin with popular media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
  • That said, don’t blindly follow what’s considered ‘hot’ in popular culture if it doesn’t serve your interests. Instead, determine the sites that attract your particular audience, some of which may be local or dedicated to specific industries or professions.
  • A word of caution–if you open a business Twitter account, do you have the resources/time to monitor and update it multiple times a day? Regardless, be very careful not to fire off a tweet that when taken out of context could damage your reputation.
  • Once you decide on the media platforms that best serve your business strategy, develop a systematic approach for how frequently you’ll post and apply follow up analytics.
  • Create a monthly calendar for writing and sharing key posts on social. Posting spontaneously, without the benefit of some kind of schedule is seldom effective.

Business professionals also have private lives with personal social media accounts. In my next post, I’ll shift focus to guidelines for limiting the visibility of your private social media posts.