Social Media is a great platform for your company to provide quality information about your organization and for a team of people to help spread that message. In order to create a symmetric message about your company brand and protect it, create and follow a solid procedure for your Social Media policy.  By simply eliminating employee confusion, you can create a safe environment for your staff to engage with your consumers.

Key elements when creating a procedure for your social media policy:

  1. First things first: You might consider social media as similar to traditional media – after all, you probably wouldn’t allow just anyone to do a TV interview on behalf of the company, so why would you allow anyone to tweet for the company? And by “approved to speak,” you probably mean in any instance – even the most basic of customer service issues may need to go through your approved social media team.
  2. List the names of your staff that have approval to make posts on not only company social networks but also their personal social networks regarding your company.
  3. Create a timeline report on upcoming events, promotions, press for the next 6-12 months.
  4. Develop training information and videos for staff to read/watch to get a feel for the company’s overall message.
  5. Provide access to approved content for your staff to use while sharing information about the company’s brand such as images, videos, links that can be shared with your targeted audience.
  6. Keep politics off your pages.
  7.  Make it clear who is authorized to create social media accounts for the company.
  8. Set some boundaries for personal content. Provide written instructions on which topics they should be writing about to avoid tweets about your staff’s personal information. Helping them to see where the line is between work content and personal content will be good for both your staff and your company.
  9. Some content may be totally off-limits to post. This includes confidential information, posting anything negative about a competitor, or posting anything that could infringe on intellectual property laws, at minimum.  While this may all seem obvious, put it in the policy anyway.
  10. Give employees an outlet for passing along information they see in social media that they feel should be responded to. Providing an email address to the PR or customer service department within the policy will be a valve release for employees which may prevent them from trying to respond on their own.
  11. Remind everyone about the importance of professionalism and respect for others. This seems to go without saying, but why not put it in writing, just in case? Those videos of the company holiday party with the boss in the lampshade probably won’t be good for your corporate image.
  12. Keep it current. Provide open communication to your staff and allow them to put in requests for topics, links to share on your social networks that are related to current news topics and set a 5 hour approval strategy on how they can present new topics to discuss to keep new news current.

Do you have communication with your staff about your social network policies?  If not, hopefully, these elements we’ve shared with you will be helpful when you create a procedure on your company’s Social Media Policy!