Keeping in mind that posting content and images online remains indefinitely, it is of utmost importance to apply a professional mindset at all times when actively engaging and networking in all social media channels. Participating in live real-time conversations requires a positive collaborative voice even when negative comments and/or statements adversely strike against the company’s brand.
There are multiple examples of social media policies and guidelines of top brands to refer to in order to gauge the principles and rules of participating in and delivering social media content. Here’s a few to browse through:
Coca Cola — Countless conversations take place online about Coca-Cola every day, and we want our Company’s more than 150,000 associates in more than 200 countries to join those conversations, represent our Company, and share the optimistic and positive spirits of our brands.
IBM — Online collaboration platforms are fundamentally changing the way IBMers work and engage with each other, clients and partners.
Walmart — We engage with our customers and stakeholders beyond the walls of our stores: you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Foursquare.
Social business goes beyond “liking” content and will reap the benefits of collaborating when a S.O.C.I.A.L plan or a cycle is implemented. This infographic visually outlines not only the benefits but also the importance of being social.
Furthermore, without the resources and tools to properly engage and deliver online content, company’s take a risk of their associate’s posting information and/or a statement that would adversely impact their brand. Tom Gimbel of LaSalle Networks advises hiring managers to do their homework on social media:
“Look for [a candidate’s] overall interaction and communication,” he suggests. Between sharing relevant, industry-related content and having followers split between personal and professional, they should project an overall level of engagement.
“People who truly understand social media realize that the sole purpose is not just for sharing content, it’s about expanding networks by connecting and interacting with people,” he contends.
In addition to going beyond the traditional “like” or “favorite” activity, it is imperative for the brand social media manager to demonstrate a high degree of active web listening — resulting in ongoing dialogue with customers and driving influence beyond borders.
The online networking approach takes a fundamental shift in engaging with customers and Inc. shares tips and best practices in “The New Rules of Customer Engagement” — below is an excerpt from the article
The rise of the social Web has led to a fundamental shift in the way businesses of all sizes engage with their customers. Rather than focusing on “touch points” during the marketing and sales process, they’re using social technologies to form meaningful, ongoing relationships that involve frequent online interactions, oftentimes through social channels.
Overall, the social business engagement concept is not that hard once best practices and guidelines are established with all those who are involved with maintaining a social media presence for the company!