Social media lessons businesses can learn from Olympians

Aug 1, 2012 16:24:20Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Social media lessons businesses can learn from Olympians

When watching the Olympic Games, many business owners may not realize that some of the athletes' mistakes could be used as lessons for the professional world. According to Entrepreneur, a triple jumper from Greece and a Swiss soccer player should have thought a bit more about posting offensive messages on Twitter. Their actions caused both the athletes to be eliminated from the Summer Olympic games in London.

Businesses can take these Olympian's missteps and apply them in their own social marketing plans. Employers should provide their employees with clear guidelines about what is and is not acceptable when it comes to using social media in the workplace. It is also important to explain the consequences if an employee was to post something inappropriate, according to the news source.

One thing's for sure, a business needs a social marketing plan in place, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Companies that lack this strategy are not only hurting themselves in terms of marketing, but internet security issues such as business information being leaked could damage a company's reputation.

It is important to act fast if an online problem does occur. If something inappropriate was posted under the company's brand, apologizing as soon as possible can help reduce the negative impact.

"[A misstep] needs to be viewed as an opportunity to come out on top, instead of a chance to hide behind a press release," social media expert Scott Stratten, author and founder of Ontario-based marketing consultancy Un-Marketing, told Entrepreneur. "You can't change the fact that your brand is in the spotlight, but you can control how you react."