Why your business needs a social media policy

By Alexandra Golaszewska

Example 1: A service provider has a thousand independent salespeople all over the United States. Some of them use social media, but the company hasn't provided any guidelines on how to do it. There are Facebook pages and Twitter feeds under the corporate name and variations of it, using wildly varying graphics featuring the logo. There's no consistency, it's totally confusing for customers, and no one has any idea what will happen to these accounts when a person operating one of them leaves to work for a competitor.

Example 2: A retail store's employees are very active on Twitter. They post photos from work, talk up the products and retweet things from the company's account, which is great. But they also complain on Twitter when they're unhappy about something, which isn't so great.

Example 3: A bar/restaurant has been doing a pretty good job with their social accounts, which are being handled by a waitress who just finished college and knows what she's doing on social media. She posts about happy hour deals and live music, and while the following isn't huge, it consists of people who are within a close radius and are in their target market. Things are good until a local food blogger with a sizable following has a bad experience and starts tweeting about it. The waitress isn't authorized to offer anything to the disgruntled customer, and the restaurant manager thinks this isn't a big deal and tells her to ignore it.