Creating a Social Media Policy For Your Company
Having a company social media policy in place does not mean you get to dictate everything shared about your company online. But you do get to set the expectations on how to interact responsibly to maintain a positive image of your company and brand. The ultimate goal of any company social media policy is to help employees know what is acceptable and what’s out of bounds.
According to a recent Adweek study, it’s estimated 47% of company employees use social networks to connect with customers. However, allowing employees free reign on social media without any guidelines exposes a company to a disjointed brand image. Shama Hyder, author of the book Zen of Social Media Marketing writes that unauthorized or inappropriate commentary or posts online can:
- Get the company, and employees, in legal trouble with the U.S. and other government agencies, other companies, customers or the general public.
- Diminish the company’s brand name by creating negative publicity for The Company, owners, and partners, as well as the employee and their team.
- Cause damage to the company by releasing non-public information or proprietary information.
- Cost a company the ability to get patents or undermine its competitive advantage.
- Cost an employee their job at the company.
Your company social media policy is basically a set of instructions designed to outline how your organization and employees need to represent themselves and their messages online. This document not only protects your reputation and defends against potential legal repercussions, but it also simplifies the process by enabling team members to post messages consistently and responsibly.
Your company social media policy, whether it’s a two-page document or a frequently-updated web page, will stand as the online code of conduct setting the standard for everything the people related to your brand share and say about your company and their employment on social media.
The SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) explains that...
“a social media policy for employees can safeguard sensitive data from online scams and hackers by informing employees exactly which information can and can’t be shared.”
Items to share with employees in a company’s social media policy include:
- How to maintain the right voice and authority on social media
- Designations on who should speak on the behalf of your brand
- Understanding which topics and information is restricted and why
- Teaching employees how to set privacy settings on company computers and mobile phones
Company social media use continues to grow through social selling activities, content marketing and thought leadership development. Conversations about your company are expanding in ways that few dreamed possible just a short time ago. Your employees are interacting on social media and your company should too. With so much happening on social media, your social media policies and strategies need to be clearly laid out. Download our company social media policy worksheet to get started.
B63 line works with clients to help not only develop company and workplace social media policies, but we also help formalize social media strategies, ghostwrite content and even provide social media training.
Contact us today for a social media evaluation and to discuss the development of your own social media policy.