How To Develop a Social Media Policy for Your Business
Your employees are online and they’re using social media – how are they influencing the public perception of your brand?
Social media training in the workplace is quickly becoming mandatory for an ever-growing range of companies. A social media policy protects your company, your brand and your employees.
The point of developing a social media code of conduct is not to deter social media engagement, but to encourage it. By offering social media training to employees, you are ensuring they are fully equipped to represent your brand online, and they are confident in their abilities to do so.
Here’s how to get started in creating a social media policy for your business:
Step #1: Identify which type of policy works best for your community.
Many organizations now publish their social media guidelines online, offering the perfect opportunity for you to review and reference when building your own company policy. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Take advantage of these resources when developing your own. We’ve compiled a list of templates below, and these are our top three picks:
- Best Buy’s Social Media Policy
- Cocoa Cola’s Online Social Media Principles
- Shift Communication’s Top 10 Guidelines for Social Media Participation
When selecting a policy template, keep in mind the social media cultural values of transparency, consistency, connection, creativity and promptness. Consider legal ramifications.
Step #2: Tailor the policy to suit your organization.
Ensure the policy you create fits well with your organization’s goals and is reflective of your company culture. It should build off of previously determined HR policies and behaviour expectations.
Keep in mind the social media cultural values of transparency, consistency, connection, creativity and promptness. And be sure to consider legal ramifications.
Step #3: Focus on educating employees.
The boundaries between our professional and personal lines are no longer as defined as they used to be. Whether your staff is using social media for personal or professional purposes, you need to offer employees a context suggesting ways they can be online while still representing your brand.
Provide ongoing, job-related training for staff around social media, and educate employees on Internet safety – in relation to both cyber-crime and protecting your company’s reputation online.
Policy Templates By Industry
Government & Other High Privacy Risk
- Province of Nova Scotia’s Government Social Media Policy
- U.S. Air Force’s New Media and the Air Force
- Dell’s Global Social Media Policy
- HP’s Blogging Code of Conduct
- Kodak’s Social Media Tips
- Microsoft’s Tweeting Guidelines and Blogging Guidelines
- Volvo’s Social Media Guidelines
- Walmart’s Social Media Guidelines
Publishing and Reporting
- BBC’s Social Networking, Microblogs and other Third Party Websites: Personal Use
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)’s Facebook Policy
- Gartner’s Public Web Participation Guidelines
- Reuters’ Reporting from the Internet and Using Social Media
- Yahoo!’s Personal Blog Guidelines
- British Telecom’s Social Media Guidelines
- Flickr’s Community Guidelines
- Harvard University’s Guidelines for Using Social Media
- Mayo Clinic’s For Mayo Clinic Employees
- Sutter Health’s Social Media Policy
image source: http://blog.silkroad.com/