It is a misconception within a company’s marketing department that using social media to market their brand will put the brand in danger of being copied and therefore is not safe to use as a marketing tool. In actual fact it is the opposite – social media can actually protect your brand! Hard as it may sound, here is how it works.
If you are not involved in a social media, your marketing seems like a one way conversation. You only present your service and leave it up to fate to determine your success in feedback from outside clients/readers. If you are on the other hand involved, you can keep track of others’ comments about your company on a daily basis, as with Facebook and Twitter, giving you the platform to improve on or change your service as needed according to their feedback or comments. You will then know how and when to change things so that your target market can stay positive and interested about your company.
As you don’t have full control and monitor whatever your staff say about your company, in essence your brand has never been protected, right? With social media all your information is public and you have the power to manage whatever goes onto your blog or advertisement thereby putting you in control where without it you actually have none. You can view what your employees are saying about your company at any time which can protect your brand’s image. Think about it, your brand’s image depends on what others think of it so you were never actually in control in the first place, but at least you have more control if it is being marketed in a social media context.
To be able to run your social media effectively, all staff using it has to first be educated. Otherwise, how can you be sure that your brand is being successfully marketed on a social media? How can you positively say that your staff are professional ambassadors for your brand’s image? You have to choose a professional within your company who has experience in social media and will be a responsible ambassador for your brand. Then pick a social media that will work for you and go through it with him/her step by step, explain what you need to be said and keep checking the feedback so that you can change whatever needs to be.
But it doesn’t stop there. Now you must create internal guidelines providing the basis on how to train employees to use the social media responsibly. If at any time the employee leaks confidential information about the company, the guideline will have to state that the employee will be responsible and not the company, which is sometimes the case. If these guidelines are set up by legal professional, it will actually protect your company should any discrepancies occur. By a properly trained representative following the guidelines and you controlling what goes out according to the guidelines you will find it to be a very successful marketing strategy.
This guideline and procedure counts for every company using a staff member to market on a social media site. The policy is very important for effective use of the site for marketing purposes. While it is the best choice to get a legal representative to draw up the guidelines, there are also other resources where you could get tips for your guidelines.
Below you will find a list of 14 examples to some famous guidelines that have been released for public use by companies around the world.
- Best Buy SM Guidelines
- Cisco’s Internet Posting Policy
- Coca-Cola Online SM Principles
- Daimler AG SM Guidelines
- Dell’s Online Communication Policy
- IBM Social Computing Guidelines
- Intel SM Guidelines
- Kaiser Permanente SM Policy
- Kodak SM Tips
- Nordstrom Social Networking Guidelines
- Oracle SM Participation Policy
- SAP SM Guidelines
- Wells Fargo Blogs and SM Community Guidelines
- Yahoo! Personal Blog Guidelines
As your representative gets into the idea of marketing on an online site, he/she will realize that there are many other uses for the site such as HR, Recruiting and sales, which is a great tool to use for further business development.