It is no surprise that in this digital age, social media is more than a platform to connect with old school friends, share experiences or watch funny videos. Businesses have realised the value in leveraging social media platforms so as to directly connect with and market themselves and their businesses to existing and potential customers. Social media platforms allow businesses to increase their brand awareness and entrench themselves with their clients and secure their loyalty.

Since it is clear that having a social media presence is important for your business, it goes without saying that every business can benefit from having an experienced person handling their social media needs. Neglecting this responsibility can lead to the brand being damaged or misrepresented.

A good social media manager ensures that:

  • the business stays ahead of and keeps abreast with the latest trends. This will allow the social media manager to identify opportunities and make smart decisions to bring in new business.
  • all customers are satisfied with the services or products they purchase and ratings and comments are monitored. Where a customer has taken to social media to express their dissatisfaction, the social media manager will be responsible for addressing their concerns and handling any fallout that may come from the negative publicity.
  • the brand of the business is consistently represented and honestly showcased.
  • the business's online profile is kept current and topical.

Given that the social media manager is on the front line of engaging with clients and the public, a rogue or errant social media manager can have a devastating impact of a company's brand and reputation. Consequently, business should have the following in place in order to enable the social media manager to effectively achieve the business's objectives and protect the business, namely:

  • a social media policy that sets out the parameters within which information is to be shared, including very clear rules of what may and what may not be posted by the social media manager.
  • a social media strategy, including a comprehensive understanding of the terms and conditions associated with using social media platforms and the social media manager's responsibilities when utilising such platforms.
  • a comprehensive contract with your social media manager that, among other things, specifically provides that:
    • the scope of the social media manager's powers in relation to each social media platform is documented and agreed.
    • all login details and passwords for social media accounts are kept secure and shared with and controlled by the senior management of the business – this is critical not only for business continuity purposes should a company's social media manager leave, but also to curtail the activities of a rough or errant social media manager.
    • all intellectual property developed during the social media manager's employment will be owned by the business.
    • recourse may be taken by the company in the event of a breach by the social media manager.
  • that clear terms accompany any advertisements and competitions.
  • engagement with influencers by the social media manager is properly contracted for and regulations complied with.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.