Social media policies are important for any company that operates in the digital space. A huge majority of social media users use these platforms to voice their opinions about companies, products, and services they like or dislike. Your company must have a plan in place so you can effectively monitor what’s being said about you online. In this article, Damon Becnel discusses five tips on creating an effective social media policy for your company!
Who Should be Involved in Developing and Enforcing the Social Media Policy
Monitoring social media for your company is important, but it can be extremely time-consuming. Determine which employees should oversee the task of monitoring and what tools they should use to do so efficiently.
Social media policies are tailored specifically to each individual company’s needs, but there are some common components that most companies include in their plans. The following list includes examples of what you may want to consider when developing or updating your own policy:
- Employees must not post anything about other employees on any platform without permission from management first
- All posts should be reviewed by legal before publishing them online
- Posts need approval from upper management prior to publication (especially if they contain sensitive information)
- Any content posted adhere to guidelines set out by the company
- Employees should not disclose any personal information about people they interact with on social media
- The company should have a plan in place for if an employee’s post goes viral.
Determine How Often you need to Update your Policy and Revise it Accordingly
To keep up with the ever-changing landscape of social media, many companies choose to update their policies or years. Also, because these guidelines are tailored specifically towards each organization, some components may change more frequently than others depending on what direction your business is going in that moment! Setting a schedule will help determine when certain aspects of the process need updating so that everything stays current at all times.You can also take advantage of free resources like this sample template from the National Labor Relations Board that you can personalize with your company’s information.
Create a Plan for how to Respond to Negative Comments on Social Media
No matter how great your social media policy is, it will not be effective if you are unable to actually enforce the rules. Suppose employees are continuously breaking the guidelines in their company’s social media plan. In that case, it may be time to create a different strategy for responding to these comments instead of ignoring them or deleting them without reading them at all!
For example, some companies choose to include constructive criticism on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The first step would involve following that specific user so they can see any negative feedback directed towards your business. Then, depending on what type of comment was made (constructive vs. mean-spirited), management should determine whether it could benefit from being responded to publicly or privately by either thanking the user for their feedback or addressing the issue privately.
To make sure all employees are on board with your social media guidelines, these policies must be communicated effectively and often. In addition to updating everyone on what has changed in recent updates, you should also highlight any changes made within a certain timeframe (i.e., last month). Hence, people know how frequently they need to check back for policy adjustments!
Set Clear Expectations about what is Appropriate Content for Employees
Another thing that is extremely important to include in your social media policy are specific guidelines about what types of content are acceptable for employees to publish. For example, you may want people’s posts on LinkedIn or Twitter to focus more on professional development than personal matters. Or maybe the company wants all tweets and Facebook updates focused around business-related topics only – no matter how trivial they seem!
Make sure everyone knows their limits when it comes to these policies by including them within this section as well. This way, you will have a better understanding of exactly where the line should be drawn between casual conversation and work-related talk online so that everyone can stay accountable for their actions at all times.
Have an Emergency Plan in Place if Something goes Wrong Online
A plan for when something goes wrong online is essential for any social media policy. Whether your employees accidentally post something that violates the guidelines set out in your plan or someone takes an action that is deemed inappropriate by management, it is important to have a system in place. Hence, everyone knows how they should respond and what steps to take next.
For example, suppose one of your posts goes viral on Facebook due to incorrect information included within the content. In that case, you may want to consider drafting a public apology for this mistake instead of ignoring it completely or deleting the post altogether. While removing anything negative can seem like an easy way out at first glance, responding publicly with an explanation (and hopefully some positivity) will be more effective than pretending as nothing happened! You can avoid these problems entirely by deciding how you would like to respond in different scenarios ahead of time.
These tips should help you create a social media policy that aligns with your company’s culture and values. If you’re still stuck, feel free to reach out for more advice from our team of experts! We would love to chat about how we can make this process smooth for you. You deserve the best in customer service, after all!