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How To Avoid Social Media Messes

Social networking pioneers may be dealing with a pile of accounts, messaging, and credentials. Here's how to clean up the mess--or avoid it in the first place.
10 Cool Social Media Monitoring Tools
Slideshow: 10 Cool Social Media Monitoring Tools
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As director of communications, Mauger is an admin on every account. She notes that she provides general oversight and edits information only when MCCC's reputation or brand is in jeopardy. In addition to that kind of control, the single admin model also enables the college to ensure continuity if and when an admin leaves, Mauger added.

Refining early efforts

SAS also started its social media presence at the grass-roots level, and now the company, which provides business intelligence and analytics software systems--is focused on "refining and focusing our earliest social media efforts into a more cohesive online brand presence across channels," said Kirsten Hamstra, SAS' social media manager.

Hamstra said SAS began facilitating this change with the organization of a global social media team. The team shares best practices, current social media campaigns, and guidelines and policies. A smaller, cross-divisional team--called the Social Media Program Team--is responsible for managing the process and strategy for SAS' external social media Web presence.

Like MCCC, SAS has put a system into place for requesting a business social media account.

"We have integrated all new requests for Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, blogs, and discussion forums into our company's marketing information system," said Hamstra. "When an employee wants to request a new channel presence, they are required to fill out a detailed form with their business justification, content strategy plan, time commitment, and other supporting information, which is then reviewed by the Social Media Program Team."

Hamstra said the Social Media Program Team ensures that all social media presences follow SAS branding standards and are added to a channel directory. There, employees can see who's responsible for any SAS-branded social media account. "This process leads to greater accountability and ensures consistency among our global social media presences," she added.

As for any accounts created before these policies were put into place, SAS is planning a "social media amnesty" month. During this period, said Hamstra, current account owners of SAS-related social media accounts can bring their account "up to snuff." This includes adding SAS-branded images to the accounts, bringing the accounts into the social media account directory, and ensuring branding and consistency standards. "This event will help our team wrap our arms around all of our global social media presences and offer more support to our country offices who are just getting started with social media," said Hamstra.

SAS has also rolled out new policies and updated social media guidelines to all employees on a new intranet site, the SAS Social Media Resource Portal. The portal also provides on-demand social media education curriculum and a companywide social media channel directory. Hamstra added that plans are in the works for a library that will include SAS social media success stories.

Has your company made progress in cleaning up its social networking act, or are things being swept under the rug? Let me know by commenting below or emailing me at [email protected]