The Importance of Having a Solid Social Media Policy
Social media has become one of the most effective forms of communication for organizations in today’s fast-paced world. With social media, company managers are able to strengthen relationships with their current consumer base via many different social platforms. It also allows company managers to target potential consumers who are not yet familiar with the organization and develop new relationships with them.
Much like a gun, while social media can be used for a company’s good, it can be dangerous for the company itself if used wrongly. There are a number of practices and procedures that company managers can develop that will help an organization manage its social platform strategies professionally and lower the chances of potential negative effects that can jeopardize an organization’s standing. This is known as a social media policy.
Here are 3 fundamental social media basics that company managers can implement into an effective social media policy and begin practicing throughout their organization:
1. Inform all Employees of their Role within the Organization
Advising all employees of the company’s mission statement, goals, and objectives is the first step in aligning all employees together in an effort to accomplish the organization’s sole mission. When employees understand the purpose of an organization, what the organization is attempting to accomplish, and that the organization needs the help of each employee to achieve its goals, employees will begin to understand their role in the company, take pride in their position, and take the organization’s desires seriously. Employees who respect their employer, and who take the company that they work for seriously, will become more aware of their own actions and will conduct themselves in a manner that prevents their employer from being represented in a negative light in public.
2. Establish Social Media Guidelines for all Employees within the Organization
A social media policy establishes rules and boundaries for those working within the organization and gives those employees methods and tactics on how to represent the company effectively on social media. It is paramount for high, mid, and lower management to reiterate to all employees within the organization on a regular basis the importance of following all social media procedures at all times, in an effort to prevent mishaps that can quickly spiral out of control and damage the organization’s reputation or position in the marketplace. Guidelines such as:
- Management approval before posting to social media
- Posts that have already been pre-approved or curated by management can be posted to social media
- Only certain topics can be discussed on social media. Topics outside of approved topics are not allowed
- Only one person, group, or department is allowed to post to social media
These are a few ways that company managers can begin to set the stage for a culture that will use social media in a manner that will produce content that is well thought out, refined, and approved. Opposed to random content that has been posted without approval and may be outside of the image that the organization desires to display.
3. Implement a Zero-Tolerance Policy for Negative Social Media Antics
While an organization’s social media policy should not become a doctrine that makes employees feel afraid, intimidated or uncomfortable, it should be reiterated to all employees that posting any content to the organization’s social media channels in an unprofessional or foolish manner will not be tolerated. Implementing a policy stating that content posted to the organization’s social channels that has the capacity to embarrass the company or disappoint consumers will result in heavy consequences such as, suspension without pay or termination. This will serve as leverage and encouragement to all employees to consider what content is being posted prior to posting it on social media.
With just these few fundamental social media basics for businesses, company managers can begin to gain a better idea and a better grasp on precisely what content will be posted to their organization’s public social media channels. Knowing what content will be posted, when the content will be posted, and by whom in the company the content will be posted by, eliminates all room for error. These basic procedures create a solid social media policy that will allow company managers to maintain healthy control over employee behavior when it comes to managing an organization’s social media presence.