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The Don’ts of Corporate Social Media Accounts for SMEs

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By Alonge David

For some months now, the trend in the marketing sector has shifted more to the digital parlance. As internet users are getting busy with activities online; businesses on the other hand, are utilizing the digital channel to upsell their values and products.

In the look of things during this pandemic period, social media has been widely accustomed into managing brand reputation online as well as marketing products and services to consumers, especially by small businesses. Global web index report shows an average of 3 hours spent on social media daily, more of which are millennial, there lies numerous opportunities for small businesses to tap.

As social media is taking the bigger advantage of brand marketing, small businesses need to be cautious on how they utilize the platform to avoid costly mistakes. Just as more customers are engaging with one another in various aspects, social media managers must not be hoodwinked to acting or reacting without second thoughts.

Here are things you should avoid when handling business social media accounts for small businesses:

To the greatest extent, avoid using your business social media account in peddling politics. Politics is a dirty game and those that play with it are readily available to go dirty with anyone. As a small business, striving for more customers, you shouldn’t go dirty with your brand reputation. Understand that you’re trying to market both your brand and product to your target audience who may belong to any political ideology or party; therefore, step aside from joining political discussion or trends with your brand social media handle as much as possible.

While it’s good to share an interesting story about your business and its people, avoid using demeaning or sarcastic comments on your customers. Sharing a bad experience with your customers may not be received lightly by your audience or customers, as such causing your brand to defend its point of view which can also spring up more negative perceptions and reactions. Last year on Twitter, a video of a fitness center went viral in an altercation between the CEO and his customer. It brought about public discussion with many views on the personality of the owner in relationship with his business. Your  business can’t afford to be practicing remedial PR during this period. As well, avoid sharing derogatory comments on your employee or partners.

Likewise, do not share your customer confidential information on your account as this may lead to compromising the information security of the customers and trust. As businesses are welcoming customers back, building trust will be key to making your customers feel comfortable venturing out. Sharing customers’ names, pictures (without their consent), location, purchase details etc. results in breach of data policy and should be discouraged on your social media platform. Recently, Facebook has been in legal tussle with the government in 2018 tagged Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach. Ever since then, it has affected the turnover of the giant social media platform. As a small business, it’s a better practice to draft a policy against sharing customers’ confidentiality on public domain so as to avoid bigger problems.

As well, do not share contents that have not passed through several checks to avoid errors, copyright issues or infringement. Posting contents with errors can frame a bad perception of your organisation’s competence and expertise. In addition, it’s more harmful to your brand if the content breaches copyright law or infringement on the personality of others. Therefore, there should be a policy to set a content gatekeeper before posting to keep the business away from avoidable issues.

In conclusion, as social media remain beneficial to your brand marketing, extra caution needs be taken to avoid tainting your small business marketing goals and efforts.

social media, small business

David Alonge is the CEO, Harlong Digitech

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