As more and more companies and businesses jump into social media – creating Facebook fan pages, adding Twitter accounts, and joining LinkedIn groups –it’s important to create a social media policy to hand out to your staff and employees. Whether it’s a quick and easy guideline to follow, or a full set of instructions, businesses should set this in place early on to help employees understand what is acceptable when representing the company in the social media space.
Ideas to consider in creating a social media policy include:
- Identify the purpose of the social media account(s). Will you be promoting products? Engaging with your customers? Obtaining feedback?
- Establish the tone of all accounts. Are you going for a professional or conversational tone? Set guidelines for what is appropriate vs. what will embarrass the company.
- Include everyone. Especially in larger organizations – include all departments in the guidelines and conversation.
- Establish company accounts vs. personal accounts. Determine if you want your employees to create a new account specific to the company. This will help draw the line between tweeting about beer runs vs. a company luncheon. Another suggestion is to have your employees tag their Tweets with the company name if they are talking business.
- Keep it confidential. Reiterate your confidentiality clause – it should stand true for social media as well.
- Define Ownership. Define up front who owns what accounts and what happens if an employee is let go or leaves the company.
- Establish a Responsibility List. Sometimes employees will receive complaints, questions, or concerns in their personal accounts, once they establish where they work. Put together a quick list of answers or accounts for them to direct the consumer in a timely fashion.
- Revisit and Revise. Social media continues to evolve and change. Your social media policy should as well! Set dates to revisit and revise your document for redistribution.
Want to share your policy? Include a link and I’m happy to add it to the list!
Image Credit: SXC