Social media offers new levels of direct access to customers, prospects and the whole online world. When businesses realise the benefits, most want to get involved. Pretty soon, however, they see that it can quickly overwhelm any single individual. So the next natural step is to widen participation to others in the company.
The truth is, of course, that many of these ‘others’ are already participating as individuals. They have Facebook pages, they have Twitter accounts, they comment on forums, some write blogs. And the line between personal and professional are where problems tend to arise. With more and more people speaking for your brand (or appearing to be doing so), the risks can multiply.
The solution is to have a clear policy for what is (and is not) acceptable use of social media – both within the company and when employees comment about the business on an individual basis. This will vary from company to company. For example, if you are a highly regulated financial organisation, you’ll probably need very strict rules to comply with regulatory demands. If you’re a small neighbourhood cafe , you can generally be more relaxed.