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With Christmas fast approaching, and the festive season in full swing, the inevitable Christmas party will be right around the corner. The heavy mixture of alcohol and festive cheer causes many employees to let down their guard. However, with smartphones in nearly everyone’s pockets, it has become increasingly important to remind employees of the dangers of posting questionable material online.
Anything we say or do can now be posted around the world in a matter of seconds and the effects of what appears to be a funny can lead to severe consequences for both the employee and the company. Some online posts from employees have even resulted in the company’s reputations being tarnished with a spur-of-the-moment posting of office party activities on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Unfortunately, however, it’s not just employees who can jeopardise a company’s online image and reputation. Many businesses have been at fault for making major mistakes on social websites. Here you can take a look at some of the most famous online errors.
Bad for Business: The Worst Twitter Mistakes
1. During the 2011 uprising in Cairo where many people were risking their lives for freedom, fashion designers Kenneth Cole decided to take advantage of the heavily searched #Cairo hashtag by making light of the situation with an off-coloured joke.
2. Only a few days after Amy Winehouse passed away, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 UK team thought it was a great time to use it as a way to encourage fans to use its Zune store to buy her album. Unsurprisingly, the post didn’t go down too well.
3. When home store Habitat joined Twitter in 2009, it thought it had cracked the secret to getting its tweets to as many people as possible. The company decided to start every tweet with the day’s top hashtag, often having nothing to do with the message. The result was an online backlash against Habitat, which forced the business to change its ways.
4. Finally, we have an example of what happens when a temporary employee cracks. While Marc Jacobs looked for a full time social media marketeer, CEO Robert Duffy thought it was a good idea to hand all the responsibility upon an intern. When the job proved too difficult, the intern lost it and decided to express their feelings via the official Twitter page.
Prevent Putting Your Foot In It This Christmas
If your company depends on the social community for regular interaction with customers and other businesses, then it's to be aware that whatever you say will be read by almost anyone. Be sure that your updates, tweets and any other posts are going to put you in the best possible light.
- With more people spending their money than at any other time of the year, it’s tempting to use social media sites as an advertising platform. However, bombarding your followers with automated or unwanted messages will only serve to irritate and give you a bad reputation, so keep your content fresh and original.
- Your social media pages are not appropriate places for personal opinions, or anything related to politics that have the potential to offend. Keep these opinions out of the office.
- Separate your business from personal accounts. I’m sure none of your clients want to hear about your family holiday or latest hairstyle, so remember to keep your personal life separate. You are allowed to have multiple accounts on each social media platform, so use that privilege.
- Set clear boundaries for social media use and around work-related activities. This can be enforced with a set of policies and making sure they are clearly articulated to the workforce.
To find out more about social media success, contact the online marketing experts at I-COM. We can help you to ensure that your social media strategy effectively represents your company.