Whether you’re creating your company’s social media policy from scratch, or the current document is just in need of a refresh, there are many things you should consider. Let’s face it—employees will be using social media at work personally and professionally, so it is important to set some ground rules for quick reference of what to do…and what not to do.
As social media platforms continue to evolve, your social media policy should as well. However, living guidelines can ensure your brand identity is best represented, prevent security and PR issues, and—even better—empower employees to act as great brand ambassadors for the business.
To help you on your mission, we’ve carved out three tips to keep in mind when creating your social media policy:
Set Clear Expectations
There are many great examples of social media policies out there. A simple and organized layout seems to be the best recipe for each of these industry leader’s successes. Apart from requiring employees to use their common sense, your guidelines should lay out where to share posts, rules to follow, and best practices for sharing and creating effective posts. Intel does a fantastic job of laying out exactly what they expect from their employees, providing examples with each point to ensure that anyone reading them can fully grasp what Intel is specifically looking for from posts for or about Intel on their personal channels. One of our team’s favorite parts of it says, “Stick to your area of expertise and provide unique, individual perspectives on what’s going on at Intel and in the world.” This empowers employees to react, but in a way that is personal and professionally appropriate.
We recommend having several eyes on the policy before releasing it. A great example would be reaching out to stakeholders. What would they like to see from the brand? It’s always helpful to hear thoughts from other departments or partners who might have a fresh perspective on something like this.
Address Compliance and Security Protocols
According to your state’s law, it will be crucial to lay out the basics; confidentiality, copyrights, and privacy. If your company handles private customer information like credit cards or social security numbers, this will need to be addressed in a code of conduct. Sharing confidential information can involve something like mentioning a B2B customer on your social media handles without permission. It is recommended to reach out to your legal department to be sure you cover all your bases.
Although you may have a social media marketing team designated to handle your platforms, many people will touch the accounts, leaving room for human error and security risks. Plan for this and be ready to act upon it, using the social media policy as a guide. Several of these risks include:
- Phishing and scams (fake coupons, clicking on spam links)
- Human error (typos, duplicate posts, scheduling platform issues)
- Fake accounts
In order to be proactive, set guidelines for how and when to update passwords and software security. Also, to minimize potential issues, be sure to limit (as much as possible) how many people have access to your accounts, as well as who is in charge of each.
Generate Employee Advocacy
Creating your policy as a tool to generate employee advocacy will give them guidance to appropriately represent your company online. Whether you like it or not, your employees represent your brand outside of work on their personal social channels, so it is important that they know how to avoid issues and why their accounts affect your company.
In order to grow your networks and audiences, leveraging your employees’ social media influence is a very cost-effective, efficient way to share promotions and company-wide announcements. As employees share, you are reaching a social network that you may not have had access to without paid social media posts, which can help you reach past your organic followers and fans.
If you have successfully created clear and concise best practices, your employees will want to be brand ambassadors because they fully understand it and feel comfortable sharing content. The most important thing here is to create marketing content that stays within your social media policy that employees will actually want to share.
Need a Hand with Your Social Media Marketing?
Like many other aspects of life, risks are always uncertain and issues are bound to arise, but policies will protect your company and hold your employees accountable for accurately representing your business. Interested in more information or assistance with your social media marketing? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.