Social media for businesses might seem a bit intimidating, but in today’s world, where we’re more connected than ever, it’s often viewed as necessary. After all, when you know your customers are present and engaged on a given platform, it gives you an opportunity to reach out to them directly (and to keep your company top of mind, too). Of course, if handled improperly, however, it has the potential to open you up to troubles. Read on for useful information your company can use to limit risks related to the world of social media.

Limit Access to Your Company’s Pages
The more people with “admin” rights to your social media accounts, the higher your risk that something incorrect or inappropriate might go out. Only provide login information to a few key individuals you can trust to act as a voice for your company. Take things a step further by changing out hard-to-guess passwords every few months or so — and anytime someone with access leaves the company. This doesn’t just protect against the possibility of team members going rogue on your pages, but makes it harder for hackers to gain access, as well.
BCH Tip: Our Social Media Risk Sheet offers great information on this and more.

Keep an Eye on What’s Going on
Posting regular — and relevant — updates on your social media accounts is great, but it isn’t the be all, end all. It’s important to know what else is happening on your pages, too. Are disgruntled customers voicing displeasure? Is someone who loves your work singing your praise? Whatever the case, address it. A quick reply back to a positive comment helps foster engagement (and potential new business). Addressing negative comments helps to protect your company’s online reputation and to right whatever’s gone wrong.
BCH Tip: Transparency helps keep your company’s online reputation healthy. Avoid deleting a comment unless it contains sensitive information or is something inappropriate. Learn more in our Reputation Management Rundown.

Be Sensitive to What You’re Putting Out There
While you obviously know to avoid posting information that violates HR or HIPAA rules, there are other areas you’ll want to steer clear of, too. Unless it relates to your specific business, sidestep talks of politics, religion and other hot-button topics, as it can put a bad taste in current (and potential) customers’ mouths. Also, although it might be tempting to jump on the bandwagon regarding social media trends and hashtags, be sure you to do a little research before diving in. Some years back, a well-known frozen pizza brand found itself in hot water when it posted using the hashtag #WhyIStayed — only to find out that the hashtag was being used to share stories of domestic abuse.
BCH Tip: Having a social media plan in place is one of the best ways to keep your team posting in a way that benefits your business — and avoids potential troubles. Social Media Plan Prep Sheet offers great insight.

Social media for businesses isn’t rocket science, but it does take some added thought to ensure you’re going about it in a way that helps your company. If you have questions on any of the above, BCH would be glad to assist. Feel free to reach out at any time!