Social media is a great way to engage and communicate with customers, potential customers, suppliers, and all those interested in your business. It is no longer a bonus or an optional extra, but is now a means of communication that people interested in your company expect to be able to use in order to talk to you. It is important to have basic rules for your small business social media policy to ensure you take a coherent and professional approach.
At The E-commerce Workroom, we recommend an official social media account for your company and general rules to be understood and adhered to when managing the account in order to maintain a consistent, beneficial and professional approach to social media. We recommend setting up accounts under the name of the company rather than the name of the individuals doing it. This makes clear that they are official company output and therefore should reflect this by focusing on areas relevant to the company and avoiding personal interests or unrelated issues.
A few other quick basic rules for small business social media we recommend are-
- One person takes responsibility for the output to ensure consistency and enable responsibility for it.
- Anything thought even vaguely controversial should be run past a second person before posting.
- Social media KPI (Key performance indicators) with a semimonthly report to keep focused on what you are trying to achieve.
- All accounts should be set-up with an email address that is actually used and then adjust email settings to stop all email notifications except important ones like mentions and replies. This helps ensure questions are noticed immediately and cuts out the noise.
- 15 minutes set aside every day to at a consistent time to login and check direct messages, new followers, and engage in a conversation.
- Proactive engagement to target growth and engagement with more users. Think and plan how growth will happen.
- Don’t damage the image of the company with amateur looking profiles such as poorly designed banner and background images.
- Publicise accounts on the website, email footers and other relevant sites.
- A structure for informing telling people to “follow us on Twitter”, “like us on Facebook” etc.
It’s important to think about practicalities – who is going to do it, how much time will it take? Who will be the author, who the second pair of eyes? Can this be fitted into your schedules? Can you do it justice? Will you still want to be doing it in two months’ time?
For a look at the social media policy for a large organisation, I recommend taking a look at this article by Richard Dennison outlining the social media policy written for BT.