Love it or loathe it, social media is a fact of life. A lot of businesses, big and small utilise it for getting their message out or general promotion (perish the thought!)
So when you are using social media as the owner or speaking in the name of your employer, here are my top six pointers for not getting into trouble.
1. Social Media Policy – Does your company have a social media policy in place that you can familiarise yourself with? If you are the owner, have you decided on a style and persona? Your social media content can be a reflection of how people perceive you conduct business. Make this a positive and productive one.
2. Facts – Make sure anything you say is officially correct. E.g. don’t come up with an adhoc promotion that hasn’t been agreed with your boss, or make a statement that your company can’t defend. Make sure any sources you are quoting are correct and up to date, as well as attributed to if necessary.
3. Advice – Could you get into trouble professionally, such as giving medical, legal or financial advice? Keep things general, use scenarios rather than specifics.
4. Disagreements – Social media is a public forum where your reputation is on display. There will always be differing points of view. Unfortunately social media can lend itself to confrontation and arguments. Steer clear of heated debates, navigate a factual or informative path. In the case of online trolls or overheated contributors, most social media platforms provide tools to either hide, remove or block questionable content or users.
5. Privacy – Be wary of information you give out, particularly if it is related to client’s. Ensure any content you post has your client’s consent, or if it is general information, your client can’t be identified by anything you publish.
6. Copyright – Images and video can bring social media posts to life, but ensure you have the necessary permission to publish or reproduce any content. If you have a licence for an image library, make sure you understand the terms of the licence and it includes the social media platforms you plan to use.