Establish a Company Social Media Policy
A social media policy is a document that outlines the corporate guidelines and principles of communicating with the public using social media technologies. The policy applies to all employees and is effective at all times –both during and after work hours.
Whether or not your company is active in the social space, your employees are likely interacting on the social portals –even when they’re not on the job. Therefore, regardless of how active your company is in the social space, you must ensure you establish a corporate social media policy. Your employees must be aware that any mention of your company (whether in professional or personal use of social media) must be done in a responsible manner.
It is vital that your staff understands that all content associated with them must align with your company’s values and professional standards. Also, a social media policy will reiterate for employees that company loyalty extends to all forms of communication, both inside and outside the workplace.
TIP: Make sure your employees sign an agreement stating that all material they learn while attending company sponsored training courses must be used and practiced solely for the company’s purposes and objectives.
How to Write a Social Media Policy
- Include a definition for “social media”. The terms “social media” and “social networking” are often used interchangeably and can mean different things to different people.
- State an objective. Tell employees right from the start what they will take away from reading the policy. This will usually be covered in the “overview” section of the policy.
- Define your company’s philosophy toward social media. What is your company’s overall position on social media? What type of attitude should employees have toward social media?
- Specify branding standards. Include information on how your company’s brand should be represented in the social space to responsibly represent your company’s brand.
- Discuss confidentiality. Be sure to educate your employees on the importance of protecting your company’s intellectual property.
- Reiterate copyright and legal issues. Your employees should understand that they must comply with copyright/plagiarism laws at all times.
- Update your policy regularly.The social media world changes by the minute. New tools and applications are introduced to social network users virtually every day. Therefore, your policy must evolve as regularly as the social environment evolves.
TIP: Download a social media policy template to use as a basis for creating your own corporate social media policy.