Look, I know you're scared of social media. People like Tim Sackett and I used to do a year's worth of speaking gigs talking about social media and HR, then we just got bored and moved on.
We'll, I'm back - To introduce you to the two people you'll meet when you give your employees freedom on social media. I'm still an advocate for allowing this freedom, but there are going to be some failures out there to prepare for. Here's what you're going to see.
1. Person responsible for your brand and sub-brand attempts humor and as a result, Al Sharpton is knocking at your door. See the tweet below from Dave and Busters:
Yeah, the kids are not alright - feel me? The kid thought it would be cool to riff off a little hispanic theme in the tweet. You have kids running your social channel. Then this happens, and your first instinct is to shut it all down.
That's wrong. This is actually an opportunity to show how good you are in crisis mode. Just tell the world you demoted the Gen Z kid running the channel to collections and then tell him how much your white, mid 40's leader spent at Taco Bell last year - in my case, it was over $2,000. Seriously. Take action and share some other things. Then keep trying to promote your brand - you'll be suprised how forgiving people are.
Juan likes Tacos? Everyone likes tacos, my friend.
2. The other person you'll meet is the over-eager person to use the tools that doesn't have an understanding of how to use the tools. Example below - the Twitter CFO tried to use a DM (Direct Message in the twitter tool, not seen by everyone) but instead used a normal tweet to talk about a pending acquisition. Oops:
This one is all about training. If you're going to have your people using the tools - and you should - you have to train people on the quickest way that they can really screw up. There's no quicker way to screw the pooch via social than a bad click and intention to use a DM.
Educate, and you'll have less of these types of situations.
If you're going to use social, you've got to invest time to educate people how to use the tools. It's worth doing in today's world.
Don't quit when someone blows it. Because people are most certainly going to blow it via social at your company every once in a while. Handled the right way, it makes you look human and transparent. Which is what social is supposed to be about.