Does My Company Need to Institute a Social Media Policy?
Social media is here to stay, both personally and professionally. Instead of shunning your employees from using it, why not leverage their social media addiction into something useful for the company? Depending on the size of your business, social media could play a huge part both internally and externally with your marketing plan. A social media policy gives your employees guidelines for interacting with the public and protecting their safety and the company’s reputation.
If you would like to protect the safety of your employees as well as your brand and reputation, then you should consider instituting a social media policy for your company.
What is Included In Your Social Media Policy?
Because you may feel like you have such little control over what your employees do in their personal life (and this is true), social media can get out of hand without a social media policy. You should make sure to explain who in the company can speak on behalf of the company on social media. For those who cannot speak on behalf of the company, you can actually guide them to ensure that if they mention their company’s name that they have to also state a disclaimer that they are not speaking on behalf of the company and it is not the company’s thoughts or words.
You should create a detailed guideline for your employees about what kind of business or personal conduct they should exemplify on social media. To help your employees understand what the expectations are, you should create a consistent voice for the business, and you can even include some standard responses for employees to use on social media for certain situations.
The guidelines should be very detailed and explain everything in a clear voice. There should be no confusion between how you communicate what you want and how the employees interpret what they are reading. If employees come across a conflict on social media, you should outline in the policy that they must contact you immediately and also outline some ways to approach conflict. Assign certain individuals who can mitigate damage to your reputation.
One great tip that I’ve read is that for every “Don’t” in your social media policy, include a “Do.” For example, if you say “Don’t talk about our company financials on social media,” then also include a statement such as “Do refer people to this portion of the website if they have questions about financials.” Something of that nature.
Your social media policy should outline exactly what is sensitive information about the company and what should not be disclosed. For instance, not everyone knows that their salary might be sensitive information. For private companies, there is a lot of sensitive information that should not be disclosed on someone’s personal social media account, but it is not your employee’s job to know what this information is without you telling them. Therefore, you should outline specifically in the social media policy what can or cannot be publicly disclosed on their personal social media accounts about their job or the company.
With that said, there are numerous other pieces of information that can be included in a social media policy. Are you interested in learning more about how to implement one for your company? Feel free to contact a Paradigm Marketing and Design associate today and we’ll be happy to talk to you.