Here are some of the pressing questions—and some answers—from the chat:
Who should own social media?
Many of our chat participants think social media should be a collaborative effort among various departments. For example, marketing should create content and PR should act as gatekeepers to ensure the content posted is appropriate. Others feel that PR alone should own social media as they understand how to best engage and respond.
Participants mentioned that while a collaborative effort is ideal, it’s not always feasible due to lack of manpower.
Should HR and sales be involved, too? A few participants think so. Others stressed employees should have a stake in social media interactions as well.
How do you convince the C-suite that social media is worth it ?
Many in the C-suite don’t support social media. Chat participants had many suggestions to communicate the importance of social media to reluctant executives:
- Measure what you’ve done so far to show how social media has improved the bottom line.
- Show them case studies of brands that have benefited from social media.
- Stress that to be competitive, you have to go where you customers are—and they’re on social media.
- Show them who is talking about your company online.
- Show them that social media is an opportunity to manage your reputation online and correct misinformation.
A participant shared this interesting tidbit: Gartner Predicts that “refusing to communicate by social media will be as harmful to companies as ignoring phone calls or emails is today.”
Are social media policies necessary? The camp was split.
The “yes” camp:
- Non-profits need a policy so they don’t get involved in politics/lobbying accusations. Companies with many federal/health regulations also need a policy.
- Social media policies teach employees what is expected of them on social media and protect companies in legal situations.
- Social media is constantly changing; guidelines should change as well.
- It’s important to have a policy for employees using personal accounts as they directly represent the company/brand.
The “it depends” camp:
- It should depend on the culture, but legal actions need to be spelled out clearly.
- For some, a clear internal strategy may work better than strict rules. You don’t want to discourage engagement.
How should companies respond to social media crises, and who should be involved?
- Large-sized companies need a legal plan.
- Smaller companies can use a strong community to defend their brand.
- Plan ahead and build a team. Planning will help shorten the response to the crisis.
- Companies should respond quickly and efficiently.
- Don’t wait until for crisis to escalate—take responsibility and offer an immediate and sincere apology.
- Know which departments need to be involved. PR? Legal?
- Create an official response and pick a designated spokesperson.
- Don’t delete the erroneous post!
- Always respond to a social media crisis on social media.
Do you agree? What else would you add?
Join us next week for #RaganSocial at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 8. See you there!