Every member of your organization can play a part in protecting your brand
Written by: Monique Stennis, MBA
Social Media Manager, University of Redlands
AABLI alumna, Class #6
Make sure everyone knows what they are. This internal document should be part of the on-boarding process and featured at your quarterly or annual staff retreats. Here are five recommendations you can incorporate into your organization’s guideline structure. Many of these ideas have worked successfully for AABLI and can work for both large and small organizations.
- Establish a mission for your social media program. Your mission may include:
• Making sure timely and engaging content is going out to your audience
• Improving customer service
• Driving traffic to events
- Institute a measurement and follow-up mechanism. One “must-do” is to set realistic goals for how often your organization will communicate on social media. Another is to develop ways to address customer service feedback and/or recommendations. Suppose, for example, you learn on social media that the registration process for one of your events was cumbersome or disorganized. A red flag should go off: such a foul-up could negatively impact your business. How will your management team address this issue? To drive home the importance of measurement and follow-up, consider creating a program that rewards and recognizes employees for achieving established goals and improving customer service.
- Be clear about what material agents can post on your social media platform. Just like a signal light, specific directions for what can and cannot be expressed on social media will help protect your brand and could save your organization from potential embarrassment. Are there red hot items, such as confidential and proprietary information, that can never be discussed by your organization? What about questionable news and/or imagery? While it may be totally acceptable for a tavern to post an alcoholic beverage, for example, it is probably not a good choice for your brand. Discuss content propriety with leaders in your organization; get feedback from them on content that may help or hinder the brand you are working so hard to enhance. Finally, clarify what counts as “green light” content, which requires no approval to post on social media. Perhaps this content is already published on your organization’s website or featured in traditional outlets such as company newsletters, press releases, brochures, etc. Or perhaps your “green light” topics are just routine newsworthy features or reports that make your brand unique and will have no negative consequences for the mission, vision, and values of your organization.
- Empower employees to alert the social media administrator to damaging comments on your social media platforms. Marketing does not begin and end with the department. Everyone in your organization is responsible for protecting the brand with which they are associated. This means creating a protocol, so that when an agent sees unsavory comments on your platform–comments that diminish your brand–he or she knows whom to This is especially important if social media administrators are both inside and contracted outside of the organization. You’d be surprised at the confusion that can be created when there are many hands in the pot. Let’s say you use an advertising agency to manage your ads. If a troll (someone online who deliberately posts inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content) posts a disrespectful message in response to one of your ads, who will remove the content? The in-house social media staff or the advertisement agency managing the ad campaign? The protocol should be clear to all concerned.
- Make sure administrator access is removed from former social media administrator Whether this is part of a human resources exit interview activity or not, there should be a process in place that withdraws social media access from agents who are no longer associated with the organization.
Many of the ideas in this article can serve as an annual audit to spark opportunity for training and development as well as communication between areas. They also can act as an overall gauge of how well your organization is protecting your brand.
* This list will revise along with staff updates
This blog is not written by aabli.org or The African American Board Leadership Institute. The author is solely responsible for the content.