Google+ The Marketing Survivalist: Is It Time to Tighten Up Your Social Media Policies?

Is It Time to Tighten Up Your Social Media Policies?

I've long agreed with the adage that customers don't care what you say, they care how you make them feel. In that light, I'm starting to wonder if it might be time for some companies to tighten up their social media policies.
I believe people should be able to speak out about the things they care about. However, I've seen numerous examples of people getting very vocal about a number of personal/political issues on Twitter, LinkedIn, and elsewhere. To me, it's not so much a matter of what is said, but how it's said. Some are well-spoken and gracious. Many are not.
To be clear, these are usually personal accounts and not company accounts. However, these people are often using these same accounts to promote the brands of the companies they work for. Interspersed between tweets with links to the latest company white paper or infographic are tweets about (insert the outrage du jour.) In longer form content, people freely share how they feel about anyone who might have a difference of opinion.
The problem is that regardless of which side you come down on (of almost any issue), a good portion (10%, 20%, 50%...) of your target audience probably has a different opinion. (Or even no opinion.) When the comments are made in a less-than-gracious manner, it reflects poorly on the brand. Worse, if you're making your target audience feel bad (even if they are on the wrong side of the issue) it can't be good for business.
I'm wondering how others are dealing with this. Do you see it as a potential issue? Or are we now in an age where we must segment our audience by ideological demographics as well more standard attributes?
(The irony that I could be offending a certain portion of MY audience that feels they MUST speak out, even if it costs them customers, is not lost on me.)

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