Chapter 17 of Engage! by Brian Solis was very interesting because the chapter discussed what companies should and can do to make sure that the online interactions between employees and the public are positive.
Solis started out by saying, “With access to social tools, we are more influential than we realize, and that works both for us and against us. Without realizing the impact of a single update, employees are jeopardizing brand stature, reputation, and competitive edge” (Solis, 133). How can companies help prevent both intentional and unintentional social media mishaps? By planning ahead and offering training to employees, no one is left out of the loop and the chance of an online crisis occurring is lowered.
Solis gave 23 tips for defining a company’s rules of online engagement. They are:
- Discover what audiences have influence and find out how they function and what they need and want.
- Participate with a purpose-not just anywhere.
- Consistently create, contribute to, and reinforce service and value.
- Focus on participating where everyone –both you and your audience- can gain from it.
- Establish emotional connections to create deeper relationships.
- Determine the brand identity, character, and personality you wish to portray – and match it to the individual persona of who’s in front of it when online.
- Adapt the organization’s personality to the voice of the community in which you’re engaging.
- Be aware of the behavioral cultures of the community and adjust your outreach accordingly.
- Be a participant in the community you wish to connect with.
- Don’t speak at audiences through messages.
- Dig deeper to understand how the Social Web affects your business objectives.
- Learn from each engagement.
- Ensure that any external activities are supported by a comprehensive infrastructure to address situations and adapt to market conditions and demands.
- Establish the go-to member of the company that will be responsible for identifying, trafficking, or responding to anything that can affect brand perception.
- Do something! Don’t just listen.
- Collaborate and earn connections.
- Empower advocacy.
- Embody the attributes you wish to portray and instill.
- Don’t get lost in conversation or translation; ensure your involvement strategically maps to objectives specifically created for the Social Web.
- Establish and nurture beneficial relationships both online and in the real world.
- Un-campaign programs and ensure they’re part of a day-to-day cause.
- Become a resource to your communities!
- Give back, reciprocate, acknowledge, add value, and contribute where it makes sense.
Following these points will give your company a strong start to a great social media policy and online presence.
A company that has social media policies and guidelines in place is going in the right direction. Giving employees an idea of what proper online interactions are is an important step in prevention. “One might believe that common sense is pervasive and prevailing; I believe that common sense, however, is mostly uncommon” (Solis, 133). This quote really stood out to me in this chapter. Think about it, in today’s world, a lot of crises happen online and most of which could’ve been easily prevented if the persons involved had gotten knowledge about what to not do online.