07 Jul Why you should treat your company social media completely differently to your own
Using your own social media is pretty much simplicity itself. We all know how to use each different social network; Facebook is for general updates for everyone from your grandmother to your high school sweetheart, Twitter is for current events and general arguing, Instagram is for food/drinks/pets/bragging and LinkedIn is for… well, nobody’s fully sure, but Microsoft just paid loads of money for it.
Running your own social media presence is absolutely fine, but to this day many businesses – especially small businesses – don’t quite grasp that using social media as a brand is not only a little more complex, but a totally different ball game. There still persists a viewpoint that a company profile can be used in exactly the same way that a personal account can.
Company social media updates aren’t just representing the views or opinions of one person, they speak for every employee, the company products and services and also puts your message on full display to potential customers. Because social media occupies a huge space that includes customer services, imagine using it the same way that you would use a telephone. You may well call a close, personal friend to tell them the one about the vicar and the MP in a house of ill-repute, but you’d never phone an unknown, potential client and open with the same thing.
There, in a nutshell, is the entire difference between a personal and a business account. Personal accounts only speak to a small group of friends, who know to take jokes and opinions in context; a business account speaks to all, including customers, suppliers, colleagues, competitors and potential customers. There is essentially no context and a joke that could be considered offensive is most likely to be taken that way by at least one person.
That’s not to say that you can’t have fun with your social media! A great number of extremely successful brands use a tone that supports them nicely, including Innocent Smoothies, Netflix and even Charmin.
1. It will be a Tuesday
2. The sun will come out for 18 seconds
3. Tennis will be played
4. Everyone will resign
— innocent drinks (@innocent) July 5, 2016
The key is determining when the use of such a tone is appropriate – if you make smoothies or toilet paper, you’re far more likely to get away with silliness than a funeral director would.
The key concern for a company social media update is that it fits your company outlook and ethos. There’s nothing that says your company profiles can’t be irreverent or even laugh-out-loud funny, but your key concern should always be to your brand reputation. Customers want to buy from brands they feel connected to and they feel represent them as people. As a general rule, never post in anger and stay away from sensitive topics such as religion or politics.
Most people recognise that people are sensitive and emotional, so will forgive the occasional off-colour joke, angry update or negative political response, but the same cannot be said for a company. As long as you remember that every time your company updates, you’re creating an insight into your company culture; if it’s something that makes your potential customers view you less favourably, it’s probably to leave it off the internet.