Social media can be a double-edged sword. On one hand it can connect people to online communities, new ideas, and products. But it can also spread misinformation and contribute to mental health issues
In GetApp’s survey of nearly 300 marketers, 69% believe that their social marketing efforts have a positive impact on consumers. However, almost half (48%) of marketers agree that this type of marketing can cause a negative impact on consumers’ mental health. This is why social media guidelines and mitigation strategies are so important for businesses. They not only protect the company, but the consumer as well.
In today’s world, it does not take much for social media posts or comments to backfire. A poorly executed social media strategy can quickly damage a brand’s reputation. Our data showcases how marketers are using social platforms and how your team can create guidelines to protect brand credibility, conduct internal audits, and stay up to date on the latest social marketing tactics.
What are social media harm mitigation strategies and guidelines?
Social media harm mitigation strategies are put in place with the ultimate goal of reducing or eliminating the negative impacts (e.g., legal, emotional, or physical) that social media can cause to people and companies. These strategies are typically executed in the form of training or policies.
Harm mitigation strategies are especially important because marketers view social media marketing as a business priority. In fact, 73% of marketers believe that it is crucial to the success of their business, and 56% anticipate that nearly a third of their organization’s total revenue will be derived from social media marketing initiatives in 2022.
Given its impact on revenue, marketers are also increasing their investment in social marketing. In fact, 75% plan to spend more on social efforts. This makes sense in a world where 59% of the population is on social media.
The continued growth in social marketing comes with an increased need for mitigation strategies. Let’s take a dive into the top mitigation strategies your company should consider.
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Appoint a team to manage social media marketing
Have a dedicated social media team in place so that responsibility for brand reputation and credibility is assigned to more than one person. In addition, you can specifically assign an employee with the task of analyzing social channels and performance data to identify optimization opportunities.
Make sure social posts are thoughtful and carefully crafted. Beyond factors such as brand style, consistency, tone and audience, marketers must keep in mind how their social media content may be unintentionally harmful or insensitive to their audiences. Having a dedicated team allows multiple individuals with different perspectives to identify blind spots and unconscious bias.
Create a social media code of conduct ASAP and invest in training
If your business has a social media account, you need a social media code of conduct. We’ve seen it before: A company makes a post in a light-hearted spirit that is meant to be funny, but is interpreted as insensitive and inappropriate. You can reduce this risk of alienating your audience by having explicit guidelines in place.
Create a well-defined social marketing code of conduct that reflects the ethics of your company. Think about the behavior that could be harmful to your audience, especially if it is a younger crowd. In addition, think about your company’s values. Is it trust and authenticity? Or, is it inclusion, diversity, and making a difference? Whatever it may be, make sure your brand’s social presence embodies these values.
A code of conduct means nothing if marketers aren’t aware of how to use it. Continued training on best content practices is a must, but as social media platforms evolve, marketers should also stay up to date on new developments and regulations.
Through consistent education and training, your social media team will know how to quickly and effectively resolve an escalated issue or breach of your code of conduct. This can help create a virtual safety net that reduces potentially harmful content before it negatively impacts the organization and your online audience.
Continuously check for conduct violations
Conducting a regular audit of your organization’s social accounts is arguably just as important as a company’s financial auditing practices. By actively monitoring for code of conduct violations, social media teams are able to more quickly address issues that can damage brand reputation or cause harm to consumers.
Your company’s proprietary information should also be protected. Avoid copyright and confidentiality breaches on your organization’s social media pages by ensuring your social media team is trained on the rules for sharing sensitive company information online. Revealing proprietary information could lead to lost revenue or even theft of ideas.
Ultimately, social media marketing is a powerful tool that your business can use to influence and engage with target audiences. By developing and enforcing social media harm mitigation strategies, marketers can have peace of mind that their social marketing efforts will be not only beneficial to business success, but also the audiences they care most about.
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Survey Methodology | Email and Social Media Marketing Survey, 2022
GetApp’s 2022 Email and Social Media Marketing Survey was conducted in January 2022 among 299 U.S. respondents to learn more about small, midsize, and large business email and social media marketing tactics. Respondents were screened for full-time employees of all company sizes that have involvement with marketing-related activities.