When it comes to social media, most businesses will have the usual… Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn accounts locally promoting their offering. This is the standard nowadays.
So if we can all agree, whether we like to or not, that the world revolves around good socials as the new standard of advertising, then what does this mean for advertising standards?
The simplicity of generating business through social media has its many positives but with great heights can come even greater falls. As everyone now knows, it doesn’t take much to damage a brand in today’s powerful social media world. The scope, reach and speed of which harmful content can project around the Web is truly alarming. We see instances almost every day of the awkward events that happen within people and businesses’ lives.
While the near-term harm can be localised to lost sales and productivity, the long-term damage can be severe and far-reaching, causing serious brand repercussions. This can affect brand trust, reputation and customer retention.
Few are trained on how to use social media; a ‘Like’, ‘Retweet’ or view gives the untrained author a quick hit of endorphins – feeding the addiction for attention, rightly or wrongly.
Employers large and small understand the need to educate the employee to not use the brand’s name in any derogatory way through contractual obligations. But most neglect the true value of training and understanding. It’s easy to explain “don’t touch the pan as it’s hot”, but these virtual hot pans are everywhere and are often not seen until its too late.
We already have high-profile cases of large brands having to battle the misfortune of the negative side of social media. In one example, two employees of a well-established pizza chain posted a video on social media of some unsanitary and shocking food preparation practices. Unbeknown to them, within days it had more than a million views on YouTube alone. Googling the brand’s name would organically produce five references of the event on page one of the search results.
We aren’t fully aware of the financial damage the pizza brand ingested but we are aware it was a bitter slice to swallow.
So what can we learn from events like these?
Well, it goes to show whether you are a start-up or an established brand social media training is needed for all. It’s not just what is done in the workplace that can fall foul of the unregulated media, but wearing the company’s logo in a picture or video uploaded to socials can also have financial repercussions.
It’s time we stop burying policies in hundreds of pages of a contract and realise training is needed to understand the unforeseen pitfalls of these ever-evolving media. Looking back at the flurry of misfortunate events almost all could have been prevented with educational understanding and a positive best practice.
We won’t be able to prevent every misfortunate social media slip up but “safety first” should be a standard adopted within brand management to give every chance of protection. I mean, I would rather get in a car with airbags than one without… wouldn’t you?
NetRights offers Social Media Training for businesses to avoid the risks of unprotected social media use, coupled with a personalised Social Media Policy minimising exposure to risk for employee’s social media liability. For more information on the services we can provide please contact us at email@example.com or telephone 01566 772375. Or find out more about NetRights here.
By Alvarez Philip.
The contents of this article are for purposes of general awareness only and do not constitute legal or professional advice.