It’s 2016 and probably safe to assume that most tech business professionals have some form of social media account for themselves or their business. Social media has long been established as not only a viable, but also a critical form of business communication—and it’s not going away any time soon. Let’s talk about some best practices as we move into the new year.
First, take inventory of your accounts and revisit the strategy and purpose for each one. Investigate where your market is communicating—particularly your competitors, prospects and business partners. Which platforms are they communicating on, and consequently, which ones are best for you and your business? Perhaps its time to redirect your efforts from one platform to the other—or possibly enhance your focus on the ones you are already investing in.
For example, have you joined or looked into Instagram lately? Quickly growing in popularity among the B2B community, it’s used not only for posting photos of products, but also during trade shows and industry events as well as employee happenings. The culture of your company is being investigated by your new hires and talent on this very medium. In fact, research shows that it’s used by 75 million users daily or a total of 20% of Internet users overall of people and that 83% of them are from ages 18-49. That’s your workforce.
Record and Document
Often, when you or your tech company has been using social media for a while, logins and passwords may be in the hands of multiple parties—or worse: parties no longer accessible. Unless there is continuity and strict processes and procedures in place for setting up and maintaining accounts, it’s not uncommon for your or your organization to find themselves unable to log into an account. Think about it: how easy would it be for a former employee/friend to manipulate those accounts? One day they are there, the next day they aren’t. But they still have your valuable passwords.
A critical step in avoiding any such scenario is to create a social media password document. Ideally, this document would contain name of account, setup date, logins, passwords, security phone numbers and emails associated with the account. If it’s for your company, decide who should own this document. In your organization, it may be marketing management, HR and even executive management/ownership. As you create and update it, add a revision number so that everyone knows that they have the most up-to-date version.
Update your passwords, especially if you have had any turnover or the password has been compromised in any way. Note: when you want an employee to share posts from the corporate account, the master password should never be given out. Rather, use a tool like Hoot Suite to allow employees to post while ensuring the privacy of your master passwords. For example, say an employee is attending an event and representing your organization through valuable social posting. Hoot Suite allows you to load multiple accounts in, and provide users with their own passwords to log into the tool. A good practice to keep in mind: design passwords that are not the same for each account; if one is compromised, the rest cannot be easily figured out.
Establish and Communicate a Social Policy
If your tech company doesn’t have a social policy in place yet for employees, it’s time to create one. Refer back to my article in the May 2015 issue, where you’ll read about key elements that should be included in an organization’s social media policy, as well as steps to enable adoption. Include best practices to ensure positive employee social media behavior.
Check and Refresh
Retail stores excel at making old inventory look new and refreshed by rotating their stock frequently. The same holds true for your online brand.
Check and update your profile information. Refresh your profile to reflect any new information about yourself and/or your business, including new contact information. Make sure your profile and your organization’s profile include valuable information, such as your website, offerings, blog, etc. It’s also a good idea to refresh your brand image background to reflect any new strategic company offerings for your brand, and give it a new look and feel.
As you start the new year, take stock of your valued social assets that you have spent time building and the rewards will pay off.
[Leadarati helps IT firms drive value and increase opportunities through social, digital and online communications. To subscribe to Anita O'Malley's monthly social business tips news, SocialBiz 411, visit this website.]