Whilst social media can be a great tool to advertise your business and interact with your customers, if used incorrectly it can cause major reputational damage. Your business only needs to behave inappropriately or disrespectfully once to lose customers or be known for all the wrong reasons. To help keep your social media free from controversy, Business Foundations has provided a list of tips to avoid an online crisis.


1. Establish clear social media policies and procedures.

All businesses should have clear social media policies and procedures that not only outline how your business account must behave online, but how your employees behave online if they list working for your business in their profile. This should describe your expectations regarding your business’ online voice, spelling and grammar, training on diversity issues, and how you interact with others. Employees who post online should be warned against posting anything that can reflect poorly on your brand’s values and professionalism as well as being clear on the penalties for violating this.


2. Think carefully about what you post.

It is important to put thought into your business’ social media and ensure that every post aligns with your brand values. All your online posts must be caring and respectful to your customers, and if you are not sure about a certain post, don’t post it.


3. Treat everyone who engages with your profiles with respect and honesty.

Your business will not survive if you don’t treat every single customer with respect. Even if a customer is complaining about an experience with your business online, it is important to respond with kindness. You will always catch more flies with honey than vinegar, therefore people will respect your kindness than if you were to act dismissive or rude.


4. Own up to your mistakes.

If all else fails and your business does make a social media blunder, it is important to apologise and own up to your mistake. If you are receiving backlash online, you should inform the public what you will do to prevent this mistake from occurring again in the future. If you just try to make excuses or avoid the issue, you will suffer far more reputational damage than if you were to just apologise and take responsibility.

One mistake on social media can ruin your business’ reputation, therefore it is important to think carefully about what you post. By following procedures and being cautious, you can find success on social media whilst decreasing your chances of causing a social media crisis.

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