As social media continues to play an important role in an organization’s marketing strategy, there is a growing need to develop specific social media guidelines for the entire organization. “It will involve cultural alignment, training, and building a solid process so that the necessary parts of the organization can participate. A truly social organization is active both internally and externally,” suggested the Mashable article, HOW TO: Get Your Employees On Board With Your Social Media Policy. The article continues to explain there are often gray areas when defining social media guidelines, especially when employees identify their employers in their personal social media bios. We have found that our clients with successful social media policies focus on empowering their employees to be strong brand ambassadors as well as setting guidelines to avoid embarrassing blunders. Here are some tips for creating a social media policy for your organization:
- Focus on the positives of social media. While it is important to create a list of information that shouldn’t be shared on social media (financial information, confidential client information, etc.), your social media policy can be a great opportunity to empower employees to be your strongest brand ambassadors. Use your social media policy to outline your brand’s messages and how your employees can play a positive role in promoting your organization even if they are not on the marketing team.
- Update your social media policy regularly. The social media landscape is always evolving. Your organization’s policy should be updated as new social media channels are introduced to your marketing strategy or as current channels evolve. In addition to guidelines, inform your employees on changes in branding, marketing strategies, or new business practices. A social media policy is often as much about consistent messaging as it is about avoiding inappropriate posts.
- Consider integrating social media training into your existing training and development programs. Training programs will remind social media savvy employees of best practice as well as encourage unfamiliar employees to join in. Educate your employees on your brand message and hot topics you may want employees to share with your audience. Encourage your employees to share specific pieces of content (recent blog posts, press releases, recent events, etc.) and provide example posts if needed.
What has been most successful in your organization?