Never turn the interns loose on social media!

Two days, two corporate social media faux pas and it’s only 10 days into 2013.

Earlier this week we learned from Just Jeans that you should always monitor your social media presence, including during a holiday period.

Today we learn from Kayser Lingerie that you should never turn the interns loose on your social media account.

Social media faux pas has been one of my favourite topics in recent years in the social media section of this blog and I am just flabbergasted that so many companies continue making the most basic mistakes imaginable with their social media presence.

The idea that any company would allow an intern to post to its Twitter account, without appropriate oversight, literally sends chills down my spine.

Let me reiterate: social media is not different from any other outward-facing corporate function, such as marketing or public relations. Social media requires an appropriate business plan, a budget and a professional team to ensure that your social media communications are appropriately aligned with your brand, corporate image and the social expectations of your customers (and the larger public).

We live in an age where outrage has become a significant, some thinks sole, mode of communication and in such an environment no company can afford a social media misstep. Coupled with the 24-hours news-cycle such missteps can be disastrous (although thankfully the 24-hours news-cycle is also a blessing as news usually tends to move on to the next outrage fairly promptly). Nevertheless, such missteps can cause lasting brand damage that could be both costly and time-consuming to repair.

Hopefully Kayser Lingerie learned a lesson in social media marketing (even if the hard way, unfortunately, just as Just Jeans) and I sincerely hope that other companies will learn from their experiences and realise that social media has become too high-profile to be treated as an afterthought (or a no-thought) corporate communication tool.

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