Create an effective social media policy to guide online interactions


May 23, 2017 • Sheri Johnson • Blog

Social Media

As more and more social media platforms flood the market, taking a close look at your social media policy – or creating one if you haven’t already – becomes increasingly important. We’ve all seen companies deal with the negative backlash caused by an employee posting from the wrong account. These tips help you create a policy framework designed to minimize issues for your business and protect your brand reputation.

  1. Establish clear rules. Make your guidelines clear and specific, but broad enough to cover all the latest social media platforms. If you don’t want employees talking about clients on social media because of concerns about confidential information leaking out, for example, state that forthright. Define the differences between how employees can use their own social media and how the company’s social media is managed, and outline the approval process for corporate content.
  2. Outline how to promote the company brand online. If you have specific guidelines around how to use your brand logo, images, etc., include these in your policy. Ensure your employees have every opportunity to represent your brand in its best light by giving them the tools and rules to do so.
  3. Address accountability. Several rules and regulations by government entities regulate social media content. For example, the FTC recently issued specific protocols related to sponsored content on social media. Include these legal aspects in your social media policy and regularly review them to stay up to date. For example, as a marketing agency, we need to clearly identify our clients in posts including them.
  4. Discuss the importance of accurate and respectful content. Provide guidelines on what you consider respectful social media interactions and include examples of content you believe demonstrates your philosophy. Cover the importance of fact checking and disclosing the origin of curated content.
  5. Provide safety and security information. As spam, malware and online attacks become more prevalent, arming your employees with knowledge on how to avoid these scams helps ensure your brand remains unscathed. Include tips on avoiding phishing attacks, and what to do if they suspect they’ve been compromised.

Want more information? Here’s a sample social media policy you can use to kick start the process. And remember, when employees share your brand story the right way, it extends your reach, builds your brand and demonstrates how proud they are to work for a great company. If you give them the tools to do it right, they will become your strongest brand advocates.