Social media platforms are the focus of controversy, and it is not surprising why that is. Users’ posts are sometimes inflammatory or offensive, and social media giants are assailed for not taking swift action in response.
However, when used for good, social media can be a beneficial force in the world. Some have found it difficult to tell the difference between posts made in an individual capacity and those made on behalf of an organisation or employer. As such, it is crucial for employers to promulgate a social media policy of their own so that staffers understand the proper boundaries for communication on these platforms.
What Are Social Media Policies?
Ideally, a social media policy will be an ever-evolving document that offers guidance for social media engagement by members of an organization. It needs to encompass all of the platforms likely to be used and should discuss how members of the group should use social media, whether in the personal lives or professional capacities.
The fact is that social media is always changing, and because of this fact, social media policies must be flexible and regularly reviewed for necessary adjustments. Also, policies of this nature need to be a topic of formal training within the organisation so that those who ultimately violate them cannot claim ignorance of the rules.
The Crucial Role of Social Media Policies
There are a number of key reasons to institute a social media policy and a myriad of potential benefits for employees and their organisations.
First of all, social medial policies help promote brand identity consistency across every available platform. They help stave off public relations disasters and allow for a rapid response if something of this nature does occur.
These policies help employees fully and clearly grasp their social media duties in the context of the organisation and helps them learn how to help boost the company’s messaging and overall values.
How to Craft and Implement a Winning Social Media Policy
In order to get the ball rolling, speak to the human resources director and ask to see some social media policy samples. Solicit feedback from all stakeholders within the company, such as marketing, legal, and other departments. Then, determine where the policy will be housed and make sure it has prominence and visibility. The company intranet can be an ideal place.
Next, you will need to launch the social media policy by conducting training presentations on what it includes. Periodic reviews of the policy terms need to be scheduled. All social media account operators need to be identified, and duties about posting schedules and content needs should be discussed.
Building Security Protocols
This area of endeavour requires conversations about how frequently account passwords should be changed, who may access the accounts, and who has overall responsibility over them. Mobile access should also be considered, as should the chain of command in terms of handling complaints or concerns.
Establishing PR and Social Media Crisis Response
Having a strong social media policy in place can assist in the management of a social media or public relations crisis, should one ever arise. Plans of this sort should specify emergency contact lists and the duties assigned to each member of the team. Among those included should be representatives of the legal, marketing, social media, and HR teams.
Everyone involved in social media commentary within a company needs to be trained in the copyright, privacy, confidentiality and similar implications of their roles.
Every member of the staff should receive instruction on how they should conduct themselves on personal social media accounts with regard to their employment status with the organisation.
They must be made to understand that running afoul of company rules, even in their personal accounts, may impact their employment status. Staffers may be asked to include disclaimers on their personal accounts indicating that their opinions are theirs alone and are not representative of official company positions. Even a marketing strategy for law firms is essential, smooth running and everyone following the same rules and guidelines is essential.