The very recent Just Jeans Facebook fiasco is a timely reminder for business: don’t do social media if you can’t be bothered!
Just Jeans found itself in a fascinating, but easily avoidable, pickle over its Facebook presence. A troll, taking advantage of a period during which Just Jeans failed to actively monitor its account, set up a fake profile, and masquerading as an official spokesperson for the company, proceeded to troll its customers mercilessly over a 12-hour period, unbeknown to Just Jeans.
It is beyond question now that social media is an excellent forum for engaging your customers (if it’s used well of course, just like any other tool available to business). Unfortunately, social media is a 24/7 medium and does not take the holidays … and neither can your social media presence!
A social media ‘presence’ is more than just sticking up a Facebook page, or opening a Twitter account. You also need to be ‘present‘.
Social media is powered by millions of people around the world, and it is a ‘viral’ forum which is capable of producing significant developments within very short periods of time.
This requires even individuals, let alone businesses, to monitor their social media presence! You cannot have a proper corporate social media strategy without strong monitoring protocols in place. The reputational risks are simply too significant to merely dabble with social media without a proper plan, strong controls, and a committed and professional team in place.
While legitimate complaints or feedback from customers via social media may arrive at any time, they are not the main concern (in fact managing that process is one of the main reasons for establishing a social media presence).
Your social media team needs to have a strategy in place for malicious attacks via your social media presence, keeping in mind that such attacks are most likely to originate at times when the perpetrator hopes your site is ‘unguarded’, such as weekends and holidays, generally, outside business hours.
This means your social media team needs to be ‘present’ and actively managing your social media presence at all times.
During usual business hours your team should be available in real-time to respond to customer comments as needed.
However, outside usual business hours your monitoring must be maintained, at least every 2-4 hours, including weekends and holidays, with appropriate emergency response plans in place which you can activate as necessary.
And if you can’t be bothered to make the appropriate investment in your social media strategy, it’s perhaps for the best to leave social media alone until you do …