Why Your Small Business Needs a Social Media Policy

social-media-iconsHaving a social media presence and having a basic understanding of how to operate each account is a great way for small businesses to expand their audience. But that’s only part of the social media equation. It’s also important to have a set of standards and policies set in place for social media use. This may sound silly, but in the unfortunate event that you are faced with some sort of PR crisis, you’ll see the need for such measures.

The fact of the matter is that social media and public relations are linked more closely than most people think. Social media shows a certain side of your business to the world. It is your responsibility to make sure that side of the business is represented professionally and with a consistent tone.

Here are a few key items to try to iron out when you set forth your small business social media rules.

  • Make sure all of your employees are aware of the policies you’re putting in place. You may also want to make sure they know that any in-depth conversations or statements placed on their own social media accounts about the inner-working of the business are not allowed.
  • Assign one or two people to keep tabs on online conversations that involve your business or brand.
  • Come up with guidelines to follow when consumers reach out to you via social media. Have a good idea of how you will respond to them and make sure you respond to all potential clients in the same way.
  • What measures need to be taken in order to make sure your business keeps the same persona, style, and tone? This can often be effective when only one person is in charge of handling your social media accounts.
  • In the event of a PR crisis, have a template for a formal response that you can post to your social media accounts in a very quick fashion.

Social media is both fun and productive for small businesses.  With a set of social media policies set in place, you can use social media confidently and almost like an automatic marketing machine. What other items would you suggest adding to a social media policy?

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