Does Your Company Need a Social Media Policy?

January 04, 2018

Social media policy

Ever since social media became a focal point in our lives, there have been brand blunders left and right. Unfortunately, the instantaneous nature of social media makes mistakes easier to make, and amplifies the consequences. That’s why our digital marketing agency in Boca Raton always urges companies to have a thorough social media strategy in place to help social media managers avoid issues online. While most companies are beginning to heed that advice, there’s another source for potential social media mishaps which many have yet to address: employees.

 

Protecting Your Brand

As a business owner, we’re sure you understand that employees are a reflection of your business as a whole. However, did you realize this rings true even outside of office hours? This means that the tweet about your company’s internal operations that your employee deems to be harmless can seriously tarnish your brand’s reputation if it’s ill-received online. If not given boundaries, employees and even executives could wind up sharing confidential information, stumbling onto conflicts of interest, and even misrepresenting your brand’s position and values. Therefore, having a social media policy in place is highly recommended.

 

Laying the Ground Rules

Even if your business is laid back, having social policies in place is important for avoiding bad and potentially detrimental behavior. Here are some things to consider when creating yours:

  • Stress common sense | Chances are, no matter how much you think something does not need to be said, it does. Urge employees to use their best judgement when sharing online. Ask them to consider if they’d be comfortable if the information they shared was posted on billboards everywhere, or covered on every news program. Trust us, you’ll be doing them a favor. 
  • Consider key issues that may arise | You can’t plan for everything, but what you can plan for, you definitely should. Some potential problems to address in your social media policy include airing grievances, responding to negative reviews, and engaging with other brands. It is important to ensure your team approaches these situations in a way that best reflects your company.
  • Embrace transparency | Disclosing one’s affiliations when engaging online is important. However, just as you wouldn’t want an employee wearing your company uniform to engage in ethically unsound behavior in public, you also don’t want someone who includes your business’s name in their social media profile to wrongfully represent your brand. This is one reason why many who detail their professional positions in social media profiles will also include a statement referencing that the opinions expressed in posts are their own, not indicative of the company they represent. You may want to suggest your employees do the same.
  • Detail the consequences | Simply stating what is and is not allowed is unlikely to prevent employees from treading down the wrong path on social media. However, outlining the consequences for failing to adhere to the policy might help persuade employees to proceed with caution online. Depending on your industry, some actions may warrant termination. Once you’ve communicated these repercussions, it is essential to be consistent in applying them.
  • Encourage social media sharing | While it’s easy to get caught up in all the “don’ts,” it is important to remember that employees representing your brand on social media can be a great thing if they’re given the right tools. Empower your team to promote your company’s culture and share your brand’s content online by offering clear guidelines and engaging with them on various platforms. Also, be sure to offer a social media point person to field any questions they may have regarding online posts.

Have questions about crafting a social media policy that keeps your employees from tarnishing your brand online? Our digital marketing agency in Boca Raton is here to help you amplify your story online the way it was intended to be shared.