The Importance of Social Media Management
If you go onto Google this week and type, “Home Depot r” auto fill immediately gives you “Home Depot racist tweet.” Yes, Home Depot has been added to the list of big companies that has experienced a very public and embarrassing social media blunder. Home Depot blamed the tweet on its marketing agency and more specifically one individual without naming either one. It will likely never be revealed who thought the tweet was a brilliant idea. This incident brings up the important issue of social media management. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is more real-time and a blunder is hard to hide as millions of eyes are scrolling timelines at all hours of the day.
If you have an agency it is important that all tweets and social media posts be preapproved before posting. This is where a content calendar comes into play. This reduces the risk of someone getting creative in the wrong way and creating a PR nightmare. If you have someone that manages social media internally, this person also needs to be monitored. Yes, we want to trust our employees, but people’s judgment of what is funny and offensive is not always the best. When your social media person gives you the weekly social media snapshot, make sure they are showing you the good, the bad, and the ugly. If the only time you see tweets is during these meetings, you are more likely to experience what Home Depot did. Social media is a strong part of your brand and you have to ensure that what is being put out into the social world reflects what your company values.
As PR and marketing professionals, we have to remember that social media is not all fun and games for the companies we serve. Social media can make or break a company. We shared the bad, but there is also a good social media story this week. Tesco Mobile and one of its loyal Twitter followers gave us the most memorable exchange this week. Their conversation is a great example of real time marketing for several brands and doing social right. Social media is a window into your company. It’s like leaving the shades open and you never want to be caught in a compromising position.