The social media guidelines are a formal corporate document that provides rules and guidelines regarding your organization’s social media usage. It covers the official channels well in how employees interact with social media for personal and professional purposes.
The policy applies to anyone from CEOs to interns in the summer, so it must be simple to comprehend. It could be part of a bigger social media marketing strategy or complement documents for onboarding and other company policies.
What’s the Firm’s Social Media Policy?
Social media policies are your corporate code of conduct that lets everyone in your company know how to behave on social media.
Many businesses make the mistake of waiting until they’ve had a crisis in their PR to adopt a plan. A strategy set before the event will keep your company from having to deal with these issues in the first place.
A Carefully Crafted Social Media Policy
Guards against legal and security concerns: Social media can present difficult issues for privacy laws. Fortunately, solid social media guidelines outline the dangers of sharing information online and help keep your employees from getting into danger.
Gives your staff the tools to succeed. Your staff with social media policies that let you enjoy all the advantages of employee engagement without risking your brand’s credibility. The plan is an essential advocate tool, providing your employees the guidelines they require to effectively portray your company on the internet.
Protects your brand’s image Your social media policy assures that when you interact with your business on the internet, whether through the brand’s channel or as the employee’s account, they receive the same, consistent experience.
This creates a more secure authentication, and trustworthy image for your business, turning customers into loyal supporters and ambassadors.
Here are a few steps you can follow to establish a solid online policy on social media for your company:
1. Establish Expectations
Find out what is and is not acceptable for employees to post on their social media profiles in connection with the company. Get input from the company’s stakeholders from every department.
For instance, employees may see negative reviews about your business and be enticed to respond to these posts. But, you might prefer to have someone on your social media marketing or PR team respond to the negative remarks instead. Be sure that this is clearly stated in your policy on social media.
2. Assign Roles
Choose the right employees to handle aspects of your policies on social media. For example, the IT (IT) specialist might be the person to grant access to and restrict access to your business’s media accounts.
Give names and contact details for employees who might have concerns.
3. Create Security Protocols
Create password protocols, file sharing and chat applications, professional profile management, private internet usage during work hours, or when using company assets such as laptops, Wi-Fi from the company, company-issued mobile phones, and other devices.
4. Create an Emergency Plan for Social Media
Consider adding a guide for handling social media PR crises. Social media PR crises could occur when an employee leaving makes a negative post on your social profiles before the account is closed and when unhappy customers begin complaining online.
Tips for handling these kinds of crises could be a combination of the definition of emergencies, plans for communication, and approval processes that can help manage any crisis swiftly and effectively. It is also essential to provide details on how to handle social media posts in the event of the time of a crisis, like the need to stop the scheduled postings.
5. Be Sure to Comply With Federal and State Laws
Examine federal and state laws on privacy, confidentiality, and copyrights.
6. Give Guidelines Regarding Personal Use of Social Media
Provide your employees with clear guidelines regarding personal use of social media at work and home, particularly when using IT resources. Give information on how posting on social media could impact your business even if they post outside of the office.
7. Allow Employees To Have Some Discretion
It is important to ensure that employees can use their social networks without restriction and that your company is supportive of the desire of employees to interact on the internet. For instance, Dell includes a section that is titled “Be Nice, Have Fun, and Connect” in its policy on social media.
8. Post It to Multiple Places
Incorporate the policies in employee manuals, your company’s internal documents, and on websites, as well as in a printed format to be displayed in the workplace.
Example Social Media Policies
Intel has done an amazing job of preparing the Social Media guidelines that employees can easily understand. They are divided into three rules of engagement Disclosure, protection, and applying common sense (as per the above image).
Coca-Cola’s HTML0 online Social Media Principles effectively communicate the company’s vision and strategies for the use of social media for the purpose of business. The 5 Core Social Media values are transparency, security, respect, and usage.
BBC considered the reader’s needs while drafting their Guideline for Social Networking. A summary of the main points that is an organized list will ensure that employees are aware of the key aspects of the guidelines.
IBM IBM employees contributed to developing the company’s social Computing Guidelines, which are continuously being reviewed as social media tools develop.
UK Civil Service provides an attractive, easy-to-read document called Social Media Guideline to Civil Servants. This document provides in-depth information on social networks, guidelines for different kinds of employees, and additional resources.
Ford Motor’s Digital Participation guidelines are based on five fundamental guidelines: being truthful about who you are, the conviction that your opinions are yours alone, respect and dignity in all communications, sound judgment when sharing only publicly available information, and a sense that your opinions are indefinite.
Social media policies are now commonplace in employee handbooks as social media usage is frequently integral to professional and personal life. Creating a policy for the business can be a fantastic method to safeguard the interests of the business while offering an explicit direction and guidance for employees’ usage.
Your company’s employee social media policy should be dynamic. New social media sites are created regularly with novel designs and features, constantly changing how people interact online. Regularly assess your company’s social media policy and update it to reflect overall social media use changes.