Making mistakes and giving staff access to social media

Mar 9, 2012

Some very clever people I’ve learned lots from over the past few years have let me publish guest posts on their blogs. They are all about social media and based on my experiences so I thought I’d group them here.

They all touch on the following subjects:

  • giving staff access to social media
  • what that can do for an organisation
  • my philosophy on why making mistakes using social media is actually a good thing

Any feedback welcome as always!

by elycefeliz

[Photo by  elycefeliz]

What if? on Comms2point0

In January 2011, Monmouthshire County Council gave all its staff access to social media. I work in the communications department and I’ve championed its use ever since I saw how well people responded to a MySpace page I set up to get the community behind the restoration of Shire Hall in Monmouth: suddenly we had a way for people to talk to the council in a convenient, informal way.

Opening access to social media wasn’t seen as a brave move . Our council is creating a new culture of openness and innovation and the positives of a move like this were considered to outweigh the negative by some way.

It seems that when a new idea is put out there, we don’t take the worst case scenarios as  reasons to avoid things. Focussing on the scare stories stops change happening.

So here are 15 ‘what ifs’ we considered…

Read the rest of this post…

‘The world hasn’t ended’: what happens when you give all staff access to social media on the We Love Local Government blog

“Most people who are interested in our council are nice – there is no need to fear ‘them’.  ‘Us and them’ is just not the way it works in our more networked society anyway.

It’s good to have a plan for how you will deal with negative or abusive posts.  But the reality is that they rare. Those people who attack an organisation just don’t understand why the organisation behaves as it does – this a great opportunity to tell people why you do what you do. People tend to appreciate being listened to and answered regardless of their feelings on the response.

My experience is that around 60-70% of comments to the council are really positive. Before social media, people didn’t have many ways to express a quick note of contentment or pleasure at a service or information they’ve received. Now we can tweet “just seen the gritters out, good job keeping the roads safe”.”

Read the rest of this post…

Not making mistakes on social media: big mistake on the Jojet blog

You run a great business in really tough times. You’ve got a loyal base of clients and you give people a great product or service. And you’re afraid of your company making a mistake on social media? Have more faith in yourself! You know what you want people to hear about you. Social media is just a new way to communicate and if you think it’s just people talking about their breakfast you’re missing a big trick.

You can sort it

If your plan is to engage with potential and existing customers and respond to their needs, there will be no mistake you can’t handle.

You gave the wrong information?  Just say sorry and tell people what you meant to say.  You’re human, people understand that.  At least they know you’re there to listen to them. If you’ve built a strong relationship with your community on social media they’ll steam in to defend you.

Have a plan on how you will respond to people and you will never make a mistake you can’t correct.

Read the rest of this post…

Empower staff to use social media like Monmouthshire County Council on Learning Pool

At SocialXchange in Liverpool on the Somo Youtube channel

When ROI = Return-On-Influence: Social communication for local government in Monmouthshire | Gov 2.0 RadioEdit

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  1. Graham Budd
  2. John Brana


  1. When ROI = Return-On-Influence: Social communication for local government in Monmouthshire | Gov 2.0 Radio - [...] Opening up social media access to all staff [...]

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Hel Reynolds

Hel Reynolds

Author of this post

Hel is social media trainer and boss of Comms Creatives. She has been working in comms since 2005, and has been brushing up her expertise in social media for brands since the good old days of MySpace. She also draws the Comms Cartoons, and is usually attached to a mug of coffee.

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