Social media is quickly moving from an emerging form of communication to the mainstream and many companies find that having a presence on social media today is not a luxury, but a real necessity.
Besides having a strong social media marketing strategy, many companies also find the need to create a bespoke social media policy that helps outlining for employees the corporate guidelines or principles of communicating in the online world. This is especially important for businesses that are on sensitive industries like legal or healthcare where security lapses or breaches of confidentiality can become a problem.
But even businesses in less sensitive areas can find that having a social media policy can help their employees understand what they should or shouldn’t do on social media and how the company approaches it. A social media policy not only regulates, but also educates your employees on how to use social media at work and at home.
A social media policy needs to be tailored to each particular company. As with a social media marketing strategy, it also has to meet the specific needs and values of the company.
A good policy starts from a position of trust—belief that your people want to do the right thing. The job of the policy is simply to guide your people on their behaviours and activities in social media.
Make sure that you create your social media policy to all your employees, not only to a handful of them. Remember that the reason why it is called social media is due to the fact that it comes with a vibrant component of customer service.
Your social media policy is not set-in-stone, it will need to be tweaked as the company gains experience using social media and as the social media networks evolve, so always keep up-to-date with changes on the networks.
The policy should be simple to understand and intuitive to your employees to use. And make it friendly too. You don’t want people to be put off by your policy, quite the opposite. You want them to feel like it’s safe to engage because they know what’s expected of them.
Educate and encourage your employees to have a Twitter or a Linkedin account and educate them on how to use the networks. If done right, your employees can be your best advocates and really help your social media marketing move forward.
The answer is now. Many of your employees are already using social media networks like Facebook or Twitter, even if you’re only starting a corporate social media presence now.
Do you think a social media policy can help the employees to understand the company’s social media goals? Let us know in the comment section below.
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