Switch into ‘company mode’ when you go from your personal account!
When you post to your own personal social media accounts you are already in tune with your audience. You know that Aunt Millie will be offended if you swear, that your sexist jokes will rile your sister, and your racist jokes that might seem hilarious down the local pub, will certainly cause offense to a number of your connections.
So, what do you do? You either instinctively know what is appropriate, and work your page as if you were everyone’s best friend. (Which you are!…)
… Or you post what you want, including strongly worded political and religious opinions as well as jokes that might be inappropriate for parts of your network. The people who do this kind of thing often think that “if they don’t like it then its their problem”. Over time people who don’t like it will unfriend, unfollow or mute your ramblings.
When you are posting to a company page then you are speaking as the ‘Company Spokesperson’ or the ‘Press Team’ there are rules that need to be followed. Not my rules, or even your company rules, but rules of sensible advertising and streamlined communication.
(Photo by Bark)
1)Do not speak as yourself unless you identify yourself.
So, if you have been at the company for 10 years, play golf on a Wednesday, and hate Vegetarians, this is not something to put on a company update bearing the company logo. What kind of professional company would do this?
See every social media update as a mini-press release that is being posted by the Press Team. If you want to offer any strong opinions that might cause offense or controversy, post them to your own personal page, then decide whether this message is appropriate for the company. If it is appropriate, then your personal post can be shared by the company page. Then a reader can see who is expressing the opinion.
2) Don’t be negative.
If you are part of a company, you are likely to be trying to sell goods, services or consulting. People do not buy things when they are irritated, angry, bored or upset. There will be exceptions of course, such as the socialite ‘retail therapy’ when a wealthy woman might go and buy some expensive shoes. Even then she will not buy the shoes from a store that is responsible for her feel negative emotions.
If a customer wants to complain about how terrible the industry is, how inefficient your industry is compared to another industry then let them. The customer is always right. But this cannot be your companies (mini) press release. Can you imagine a company advertising campaign based on negativity? Can you imagine a company spokesperson announcing that they feel frustrated, that competitors are better, or that things are going to get worse?
It is unthinkable. So every update needs to be positive. This doesn’t mean that you blather on about everything being great when it is not. Do not be tempted to put a positive spin on something that is really bad because you will come across as insensitive.
As my Mother (and perhaps your Mother) always said, “ if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all”.
Change ‘nice’ for positive/constructive. This way, even the most terrible news can involve a constructive solution or effort to minimise damage, or re-build more quickly.
So, to recap, when posting to your companies social media pages:
- Think of every update on social media as a mini-press release.
- Do not speak as yourself on a company page, imagine that you are the Company Spokesperson.
- Never say anything negative or anger inducing under any circumstances.