Social Media Policy Creation: A Guide for Business Owners
How to Develop a Social Media Policy in the Workplace
Social media isn’t just a tool to reach out to friends and loved ones. It’s also a platform business can use to promote their product or service, as well as engage potential and existing customers.
Given how crucial social media is to an organization, companies should make sure that employees use this tool properly. One poorly timed or written post could ruin the reputation of a business and send customers fleeing.
The solution, therefore, is to create a social media policy a living document that details guidelines for using social media channels in the workplace. A well-written policy offers multiple benefits to the organization. The guidelines, for instance, help you manage conduct by regulating social media access in the office effectively and taking recourse against employees in the workplace who refuse or consistently fail to follow the rules.
If you’re coming up with a social media use policy for your business, take note of these five suggestions:
Determine Who Can Speak for Your Business
Your policy should clarify who can speak on behalf of your brand on various social networking platforms. The extent of freedom you provide your employees will depend on the nature of your company. If you’re going to establish a social media team or a customer care department that gives valuable advice to customers, train them on topics like:
- Branding Guidelines – Explain the tone and voice of your brand along with how you present your services and products.
- Customer Etiquette – Provide examples on how to respond to positive feedback, inquiries, and complaints from social media users.
- Disciplinary Action – Enumerate the sanctions for not adhering to the guidelines outlined in your company social media policy.
Enumerate Personal Social Media Account Guidelines
Although your organization won’t be able to completely control everything your employees post or say on social media, you could show how the content on their profiles affects the company.
Regardless of what your social media team actively says about your brand, the world will see these employees as a reflection of your organization. If your workers, for instance, are posting questionable content online, your prospective and current customers could form a negative impression about your business.
So create a policy that outlines basic expectations on how employees should behave on social media. A few topics you could include are:
- Fact-Checking – Publishing fake news can taint the image of a brand. Employees should thoroughly check all information to determine if the source is legitimate or trustworthy.
- Proper Decorum – Employees should refrain from publishing derogatory remarks about the organization and their colleagues.
- Law Compliance – Everyone using social media should adhere to social media-related laws, such as following the copyright law for third-party content.
Advocate the “Think Before You Post” Policy in Your Workplace
What happens on the web, stays on the web.
Think of the internet as a time machine. If you tweet something controversial then take down the post a few days after, people will still find it. They can, for instance, use tools to find deleted tweets. If the post goes viral, you can bet that it will be on the web for a long time.
Encourage employees to think carefully about what they’re posting online. If they’re going to promote the brand but aren’t sure whether it’s good or not, they should check with your company’s social media team or specialists.
Create a Conflict Management Plan
Conflict can easily spread like wildfire on social media. Even a small misunderstanding can snowball into a PR nightmare if you don’t manage it appropriately.
When you have customers (or trolls) leaving nasty comments about your brand, products, and services online, make sure that your social media specialists know exactly how to handle these users. You can designate team members responsible for the following areas:
- Customer Service and Message Approval
- PR Management and Crisis Response
- Social Media Engagement
Additionally, come up with pre-approved responses to common problems or frequently asked questions. These replies let social media users know that you’ve received their concerns and will forward them to the right person or department.
Keep Your Brand and Employees Secure
Scammers and other cybercriminals use social media to target vulnerable individuals. Your social media policy, therefore, should have guidelines that safeguard your workers and your business.
A few guidelines your policy could cover are:
- Creating secure passwords for social media accounts
- Recognizing potential attacks and risks on social media
- Responding to security breaches
These five suggestions will help you craft a well-written social media policy. With this document in place, you can make the most of social media to promote and protect your business.