In today’s high speed Internet world, social media has become a staple activity for most businesses. Unfortunately, many companies do not have a cohesive social media strategy. One of the things you must do is to create a social media policy that spells out to the whole organization exactly what their role is.
These 10 tips should help you create a social media policy from scratch or flesh out your current policy.
- Address The Purpose Of Social Media – Before you create a social media policy you must explain to your employees exactly why you are doing this. It is not just to share the latest meme with a cute cat or some video of a guy driving into a light pole. Social media should be about connecting with clients and prospects. Focus more on what employees can do rather that what they cannot do.
- Responsibility – Everyone who uses social media must understand that they are responsible for what they write and share. Every few months, a story makes the rounds about some employee of a Fortune 500 company who tweets out something inappropriate from the company’s account. Those people get fired. Employees have to understand this and use sound judgment when engaging with the public via social media.
- Consider The Audience – Decide who your audience is. It’s too easy to say, “Everybody.” In reality, you will be dealing with two groups; current clients and prospects. Current clients are self-explanatory. Prospects will use certain social media platforms and are interested in particular information.
- Good Judgment – This goes back to responsibility. You do not want your company to be associated with any kind of mean, narrow-minded or racist or sexist comments that are made by employees. In the instant news era today it is very common for the whole company to be painted with the mean/racist/stupid brush because of one tweet or Facebook post.
- Give Credit When Sharing – When you create a social media policy make sure everyone understands the rules for sharing articles and news. They should provide attribution whenever possible. Writers and news organizations work hard to provide stories, and they should be given credit.
- Authenticity – Social media is all about being human and authentic. People hate being barraged by sales message after sales message on social media. Your customers and prospects will interact with your business just like an old friend if you do it right.
- Community – Your clients and employees will form a community through social media. People will feel comfortable enough to share personal information with people they have never met. It is up to you to foster that kind of community.
- Protect Company Information – It goes without saying that employees should not share sensitive information through social media. Financial data or corporate strategy should remain in house.
- Add Value – Value is a subjective word. What may seem valuable to one person may be of no significance to another. This is where those employees using social media come in. They should know what your customers and prospects want. It may be a link to a review or an answer to a simple question.
- Productivity – Those who are engaged is social media need to understand that social media is not about surfing the Internet but about engaging with people. Social media is the new cold call and should be treated as a business activity.
Social media only works if you and your business treat it like a business activity. When you create a social media policy, you need to get that point across.
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