Guest blog post by Mandy Hopkins, Imagine Digital Marketing
I think we’d all agree that having a social media policy in place is a good business decision, intended to help your employees make appropriate choices online.
Once you have a social media policy in place what else do you need to consider?
Not every business is lucky enough to have their own in-house marketing department, responsible for ensuring that all employees follow best practices when representing their business online.
Social media holds lots of advantages for businesses
- Enabling you to acquire new clients
- Recruit new employees
- Obtain customer feedback and deal with customer queries
- Raise brand awareness
Something you need to be aware of is the importance of protecting your brand identity online. You want to raise brand awareness BUT for all the right reasons!
Here are some tips to get you started when using social media for your business
- Conduct a business profile audit
Are your company’s online profiles aligned to your brand? Do you have professional page banners and cover photos? Is your logo sized correctly for each platform?
How long ago were your employee profile photos taken? Were they taken by a professional photographer or have some members of staff taken it upon themselves to upload their own photos?
Professionally taken headshots don’t have to be boring but they should be consistent across all platforms and on your website.
Stand out from the competition with professional photos. Organize a photoshoot in the office for all employees. Ask your photographer to also take interior and exterior photos of your business that you can also include on your website and promotional materials. First impressions really do count. Professionally taken photos of both your employees and business premises will provide a more consistent representation of your company online.
- Staff Profile Guidelines
Provide your employees with clear instructions and everything they need to update their business profiles for a more professional approach.
Provide a correctly sized and branded cover image for employee social media profiles.
For consistency, give clear instructions on what should be included in profile summaries and headline details.
- Posting Guidelines
Write a social media checklist for your employees, with clear posting guidelines to help get the balance right in your company’s social media messages. Or contact me and I will help develop a bespoke social media plan and messaging guidelines for your staff. This will also prove useful when instructing new employees on how to manage their social media profiles. Setting clear guidelines shows employees what you expect and avoids any confusion or misunderstandings.
- Company Pages
Look upon social media company pages as your content hub. Encourage employees to connect so they can easily share content posted by the company (such as news about your products or services) to their own network of connections. This will increase your online reach and improve brand awareness.
- Customer Service
Have clear rules for dealing with customer enquiries and complaints received via social media, including response timescales and when complaints should be escalated. Avoid damage to your brand by giving staff a clear process to follow.
Effectively managing your social media accounts takes time and resource but it really does matter to your business. The results will be well worth the effort. Always keep in mind that inconsistent employee profiles could seriously damage your brand.
All too often I see great businesses who have allowed employees too much freedom when setting up and handling business social media profiles. Consistency is key; provide your staff with clear guidelines setting out what is and what isn’t acceptable when it comes to representing your business online. Never allow employees to use personal social media profiles to market your business online. Social media for business is totally different from using it for personal use.
If after reading my article you think that it sounds like a lot of hard work to manage your online presence why not let Imagine Digital Marketing help?
A personalised digital marketing package from Imagine can help by identifying the right platforms for your business. This will include conducting a thorough digital audit, researching and posting of suitable content on your behalf and performance reporting.