Most marketers know the experience. You wake up to a flurry of emails and message notifications and you think to yourself: “Great. What did he say now?” Everyone has had that one problem client — the client that just can’t keep their mouth shut. Unfortunately, when managing your own company’s marketing campaign, you may discover that there are more “that guys” than you thought.

The Problem of the Rogue Agent

firearm-1300396_1280Thanks to the magic of social media, a single employee can cause some incredible damage to their company’s reputation. Many employees have their social media accounts visible to the world and they often discuss their work freely. A single off-the-cuff comment taken the wrong way can rapidly spiral into something that is now associated with the company forever. When it’s a boss or someone at the higher levels of the company, it’s even more difficult to manage. You can’t monitor everyone all the time, so what can you do?

Lock Down Your Core Accounts

Core members of the business — decision makers, management, and anyone in marketing and sales — need to have their social media on lock down. This means no visible personal accounts and carefully maintained business accounts. These are the individuals at your company who are going to be under the most scrutiny — and the words that are said by them are going to spread the fastest.

Adopt Brand Sentiment Strategies

If your business has hundreds (or even thousands) of employees, how can you ensure that your brand is being represented fairly? Brand sentiment analysis will analyze and track mentions of your branding online, to identify any potential problems as they develop. Brand sentiment is a valuable marketing tool for many reasons, including its ability to help put out fires.

React Quickly to Social Media Incidents

When a social media incident does occur, most customers and prospective customers will be waiting to see how you initially react. By reacting quickly and resolving the problem immediately (even if it requires a separation from the employee), you can usually regain consumer faith. Naturally, this depends highly on the nature of the social media sabotage. Unintentional sabotage can often be adequately handled through employee re-training.

Limit Exposure to Social Media Platforms

If your boss has a tendency to, say, jump on Yelp and start yelling at people, there’s only one question you should be asking yourself: “Why do they even have access to the Yelp page?” One of the best ways to mitigate potential social media disasters is to restrict access to any social media accounts and owned media to only the marketers.

You can’t save people from themselves. If the higher-ups at your company are truly determined to tank their social media standing, there’s very little that you can do. Nevertheless, with the above strategies and tactics, you may be able to mitigate some of the worst of it — at least long enough to meet your own marketing goals.

Jenna Inouye
Jenna I. is a freelance writer, programmer and web developer, focusing on the areas of digital marketing, technology, gaming and finance. Hire Jenna through WriterAccess or contact her directly.

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