Who Holds the Keys to Your Brand Reputation on Social Media?


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Halloween is just around the corner, but some big brands have already had some scares this month due to social media administrators posting personal tweets on brand accounts. In October, both StubHub.com and KitchenAid had to clean up the monstrous messes made by highly opinionated tweeters with keys to the corporate social media accounts.

For brands, there’s perhaps nothing more daunting than the virality of social media. Careless posts, tweets and video can go to newsfeeds, be retweeted, shared, and captured in screenshots faster than the human hand can hit “delete.”

In both KitchenAid’s and StubHub’s cases (as well as Chrysler’s last year), employees or representatives were tweeting volatile personal opinions believing they were posting to their personal accounts. A KitchenAid staffer posted this poorly-punctuated, poor-judgment tweet about President Obama’s deceased grandmother during the first presidential debate:

A StubHub staffer was obscenely happy it was Friday and that he was leaving work – presumably after this tweet (edited for this blog post), for the last time:

A PR firm staffer expressed his extremely bad attitude (edited for this blog post) about Detroit drivers on ChryslerAutos’ corporate account:

What lessons can we learn from these accidental personal posts to brand accounts? Many:

Get to know who represents your brand on social media. While you want someone for your brand who is social-media-savvy, you also want someone who represents your brand well both professionally and personally on social media. Warning flags should go up for social media administrators who consistently post foul language, political rants, poorly-spelled and poor judgment tweets on their personal accounts.

The social media manager or administrator often becomes an extension of the brand, especially if their personal accounts name their employer, and customers and potential ones eventually become friends and followers. While all professionals will strive to stay on message, there is always the lurking danger of personal and professional social paths crossing.

Double-check all posts and tweets. Ensure those who have keys to the corporate social accounts double check their tweets for spelling, grammar, judgment, and most importantly, that they’re posting to the correct social media account. Mistakes can happen to anyone, but taking a few extra minutes to consider what’s being posted may save hours, days or months of walking back a tweet or post. When posting after hours especially, it’s a best practice to have only one account open at a time – either personal or professional – and to meaningfully focus on which account’s open before hitting post or tweet.

Remember that with every social interaction, your brand’s reputation hangs in the balance. Zappos has a single-sentence social media policy, but it says it all about the fine line we all need to walk between personal opinions, personality and professionalism on social media. Be yourself and use your best judgment.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.


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