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In the world of business social media management, maintaining a professional and positive online presence is vital. The way a company conducts itself on social platforms can significantly impact its reputation and relationships with clients, partners, and the public. Here are five critical practices to avoid when handling corporate social accounts, along with illustrative examples and actionable tips to uphold a strong and positive online brand presence.
Business social accounts should reflect the brand's voice and values rather than individual opinions. Sharing personal views on your company profiles can lead to confusion and potential alienation of the audience.
Example: A social media manager expresses a personal political opinion on the company's X (formerly Twitter) account. This may cause followers to question the company's stance, or even engage in debates and heated arguments, which can distract from or contradict the company’s core message.
Tip: Clearly distinguish between your personal and corporate social accounts, though you should also steer clear of potential problematic practices on your personal social accounts. Ensure that social media managers always align their posts with the company's values and messaging, maintaining a unified brand voice.
Engaging in public criticism of competitors or other companies can damage relationships and tarnish the corporate image. On your business social media platforms it is essential to maintain professionalism and focus on the positive aspects of the brand.
Example: A company's official Facebook page shares a post directly criticizing a competitor's product or advertisement. This not only violates ethical standards but can also lead to negative perceptions among followers.
Tip: Encourage constructive competition on social platforms. Highlight your company's strengths rather than pointing out weaknesses in others. Engage in healthy industry discussions without resorting to direct criticism.
Using content without proper attribution on business social platforms can lead to legal issues and damage your company's credibility. It is absolutely crucial to respect intellectual property rights and give credit where it is due.
Example: A corporate Instagram account shares an engaging infographic without crediting the original creator. This not only violates copyright but also reflects poorly on the company's commitment to ethical content sharing.
Tip: Always attribute content to its original source in your social posts. Create a company culture that values proper attribution and respects intellectual property rights. When in doubt, seek permission before using external content.
Publicly arguing with customers on social media platforms can be detrimental to a company's reputation. Instead of resolving issues publicly, it is much smarter to guide customers to private channels such as email or phone centers for personalized assistance.
Example: A dissatisfied customer posts a complaint on the company's Facebook page, and the social media manager responds defensively, escalating the situation for other customers and prospects to see.
Tip: Train social media managers to handle customer complaints diplomatically. Acknowledge concerns publicly and direct individuals to private channels for further resolution. Maintain a customer-centric approach to preserve the company's reputation.
Learn more about this topic: Use This Simple Model to Resolve Common Customer Service Complaints
Corporate social accounts should avoid sharing content that may alienate or offend specific groups. Maintaining a broad appeal and positive brand perception is a must for long-term success. Remember too that social norms change over time; what may not be considered offensive today may become problematic tomorrow, so exercise restraint.
Example: A company tweets a meme that unintentionally includes offensive imagery, sparking negative reactions and potential backlash.
Tip: Implement a thorough content review process to ensure posts align with the company's values and are unlikely to cause offense, today or tomorrow. Consider diversity and inclusivity in content creation to resonate positively with a broad audience.
Make sure that people talk about your business in a positive way: If You Don’t Have a Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy, Here’s Why You Should
Effective management of corporate social accounts is essential for building and maintaining a positive brand image. By steering clear of these five practices, companies can uphold their professionalism, foster positive relationships, and demonstrate a commitment to ethical and responsible social media use.
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