With the spread of social media, companies have struggled controlling their Internet venues. One comment from an employee on Twitter can give the entire company a bad rep. How do you use social media? Social Instinct suggests some tips on creating a social media policy that will work for your company.
Have a purpose for your social media. Decide why you are using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Having a purpose will help direct your social media actions where you want them.
Do you want a company voice or are employees allowed to use their own voice? Again, make a decision. Choosing between a company voice and an employee voice will brand your social media. People will subconsciously recognize your articles if your company has a universal understanding of what voice or tone to write with.
Who does what? If you have a company Facebook, Twitter, or other social media account, decide who has access to it, who can post to it, who can regulate it, etc. This will prevent confusion between employees, as well as keep your social media within boundaries. Also, make sure more than one person has the logins and passwords to protect yourself and the organization from lapses and turnover.
Protecting privacy- both company and employee- is a difficult task with social media. If your company has trade secrets, it is important that they aren’t accidentally leaked online. If you are posting photos of employees, make sure they are okay with it. If your organization is active in social media, make a photo release part of your human resources employee handbook. While these are two examples, there are many more and protecting privacy will help keep your company and employee information safe.
5. Topics and language
Decide what is okay and what isn’t in terms of topics and language. Are your employees allowed to mention their weekend shenanigans in a post? What words do you consider a taboo? Think hard about what vibe you want your company to have. It is not bad if you want a casual presence, but make sure you are aware of it.
6. Monitoring conversations and responding to comments
While comments and engagement are positives, they can quickly turn negative. Figure out how you want to monitor conversations and respond to comments - both negative and positive. Monitoring a conversation does not necessarily mean deleting a harsh, critical response, but perhaps, you could respond with a simple “I’m sorry you felt this way. We are reviewing your feedback and working to improve with it in mind>”” In this way you’ll show company support without ignoring an opinion. Responding to comments is important because it gives the customer a direct relationship to your company.
The above tips are simply ideas to think about. Perhaps your company doesn’t need a strict social media policy. Your social media policy is yours, meaning you decide what you want it to be. Perhaps it’s three bullet points simply listing how you expect employees to command their social media presence. Or, it may be a three page document identifying who does what, and with approval requirements. Either way, defining what you want for social media with your company will prevent mishaps and help your social media presence. In the end, a social media policy more than just a policy, but rather, it is an understanding.
For more information on best practices in Social Media, contact Keith Crowell, Vice President of Social Media at Social Instinct at firstname.lastname@example.org. Social Instinct offers a social media engagement platform called Kontribune, and a social media monitoring and curation tool called Curator360. Visit us online at www.socialinstinct.com.