A social media policy outlines how an organization and its employees should conduct themselves via the web. All in all, it helps protect your company’s online reputation. This way, employees can also get involved in sharing about the company to their online networks.
The main challenge is many companies do not know how to best organize an excellent social policy and want to ensure employees are reading it. To do so means keeping it simple, straightforward, accessible, and continuing to be updated. The goal is not to frustrate your workforce or discourage employees from participating in social media. But, it does need to emphasize some essential conduct, so there are no major issues in the future.
Table of contents
- How to Create a Social Media Policy?
- Key Elements of a Social Media Policy
- Implementing a Social Media Policy for Employees
- Social Media Policy Examples
- Social Media Policy: The Final Piece of The Jigsaw
How to Create a Social Media Policy?
Here are some steps you can take to create an effective social media policy for your business:
The first step is to decide what is and isn’t acceptable for employees to do on their personal social media accounts. Especially when discussing the company. Seeking input from company stakeholders in all departments is important. For example, your employees may see negative posts about your business and be tempted to respond to them. However, you may prefer that you or a person on your social media, PR or marketing team address disparaging comments instead.
Next, you have to select appropriate employees to manage social media policy. Your information technology specialist may be the contact for granting and restricting access to your business’s social media account. The main step is to provide names and contact information for employees who may have questions.
Develop Security Protocols
The main thing is to develop protocols for passwords, file sharing and chat applications. Managing professional profile management and personal internet use during work hours makes the ultimate difference. Keep a timeframe while using company assets such as laptops, company Wi-Fi, company-issued phones and other devices.
Social Media Crisis Plan
A social media crisis plan is crucial to any company looking to implement a PR policy. Guides are perfect for handling these aspects. A departing employee may post something negative on your social accounts before their access is revoked, or when angry customers start venting online, leading to a damaging brand reputation.
Guidelines can include the definition of various crises, communication plans and approval processes to manage any problem quickly and efficiently. Include details on how to post on social media during a crisis, such as stopping all scheduled posts.
Guidelines for Social Media Use
Give your employees clear and active guidelines for personal social media use in the office and at home. This works especially if they use company IT assets. Provide information about how social media posting can affect your company, even when posting outside the office.
Key Elements of a Social Media Policy
Here are five key elements that every company should consider when developing their social media policies or guidelines:
- Keep your personal train of thoughts separate from the business. Don’t turn your feelings, or opinions into your company’s. Just because you are having a bad day does not mean that you can use the official company account to write total gibberish.
- Don’t breach confidentiality. This is an unspoken rule that both employees and employers must follow.
- Next, we have the golden rule. Always treat others as you would like to be treated. The workplace should be like a family where people look out for each other. Obvious, but so often forgotten.
- It’s key to remember that it’s “social” media. Try to be more social and less corporate when you speak. Nobody likes robotic posts or conversations that don’t sound human.
- Check your company’s code of conduct. It trumps everything.
This list should be simple enough to follow. It captures the important parts for any corporation to follow and implement. Rules and regulations when it comes to social media are as important as anything.
Implementing a Social Media Policy for Employees
Seek input from stakeholders This way you can get some great ideas about your unique needs from:
- Product’s power users
- Marketing team
- HR and social media team
- Public spokespeople
- Legal team
Always keep your regular employees involved in the discussion. After all, this policy affects all of them. We highly recommend adding your policy to your employee handbook so that new hires can work through it during onboarding. But where will existing employees access it? Will it live on your company intranet, or shared drives? Depending on your organization’s needs, you may consider posting it to your external website as well.
Social Media Policy Examples
A real-world example to get things going. Here are some great ones to model when creating your own social media policy.
Nordstrom’s social media policy is short and to the point but covers the key details for employees. Key takeaway: You may be legally responsible for the content you post, so respect brands, trademarks and copyrights.
Gartner has a solid social media policy, focused on employees to comprehend the difference between their personal and professional personas on social media. Key takeaway: While acting in your ‘professional persona’ and identifying yourself as a Gartner associate publicly, each and every post should be considered.
Social Media Policy: The Final Piece of The Jigsaw
We are living in a world where social media activities make or break a company and its individual’s reputation. Social media policy is the final piece of the jigsaw, enabling employers to set down strict rules on how workers are supposed to behave when talking about their organization.
That was all for this comprehensive guide. We hope it answered all of your queries about how social media policy works and why it’s important to implement. Feel free to comment if we missed something!