How companies interact with their customers and manage each platform, through social media can often mean the difference between massive positive/negative publicity gains. Currently, the most common space for this to occur develops within the confines of social media behemoths: Twitter and Facebook.
Today, we will be analysing UK food store: Tesco, and how they developed a simple, yet effective social media policy to administer guidance to the many employees that make up it’s workforce.
Due to Tesco’s nature as a food store, they primarily post pictures of visually appealing recipes that can only be obtained through it, as the products used are the organization’s own/exclusive brands. What’s more, is that they undertake a witty and playful attitude when replying to one of their followers tweets, which only builds there brand name and builds positive publicity for the company.
However, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows as there are occasions when it isn’t always possible for even leviathan sized companies to deal with an online problem.
In this example, if an employee of Tesco were to act on the behalf of the company and provide inaccurate, or misleading information then the entire organization could suffer horribly from the side effects. This error could leak vital private information, or even private information about a customer, for the entire population of the internet to witness.
In addition, if an employee were not to properly cite a reference and acknowledge the copyright of a product and exploit it on an online space, then it’s the organization to which they belong that would receive the majority of the flack.
As a result, Tesco deemed it necessary to define a strategy and use it as a foundation, to which the executives can plaster on more effective and relevant tactics to combat legal risks in relation to social media faux pas.
In response to these social blunders, Tesco and companies of similar calibre began to challenge themselves upon how these errors may be corrected. Thus, typical questions that company executives should ask when defining a social media strategy include:
- What benefits do we hope to gain through social media?
- If and how should we reward our employees, who have generated a considerable amount of positive publicity?
- How will we manage unruly customers on these platforms?
- How will management generate awareness of the policy and ensure that it is constantly being followed?
- Which department/employee[s] will be granted access to act on the behalf of the company on a daily basis?
- What is the primary demographic for this model?
- How will a situation be handled if it happens to go viral?
Subsequently, Tesco have constructed a simple, elegant and conveniently obtainable 2 page .pdf copy of their social media policy. Which clearly reminds employees on how to act, present themselves and to respect copyrights where applicable.
Overall, if more organizations were to employ social media policies that reflected the qualities of Tesco’s, then it may be possible for them to dodge most, or any, incoming negative influence regarding their public image.