Social media has the potential to greatly influence any marketing campaign, but that can be fruitless if there aren’t set guidelines to adhere to. But what do you need to include in your social media policy to ensure it’s actually effective
Social media has become a part of everyday life for most people today. Many of us browse through Facebook or Instagram in our spare time, but these social platforms are also used by businesses, and have now become indispensable in the working world too.
It is becoming increasingly important for business owners and managers to educate their employees on how to use social media for work and establish guidelines on how they want their business to be presented to online audiences.
In this guide, we outline what you’ll need to cover in your social media policy and take a look at the two separate policy types, ensuring that you and your employees are able to utilize social media effectively at work.
The two types of policy
There are two separate types of social media policy, according to managed print solutions specialists United Carlton, these are:
- Employee policy
- Brand policy
These policies are very similar in the way they are structured, but they are targeted differently.
It’s vital that any social media policy you have in place as a business is enforced with strict measures so that your company is never in a vulnerable position. We’re in a digital world that is constantly changing so this is a good incentive for business owners to continuously review their policies and make any necessary changes that will continue to have the best interests of the company at heart.
Making employees aware of the policy rules
As employees will be representing the business online, they also need to be made aware of how they represent themselves.
On personal profiles
On personal social media, if a person has tagged their workplace in their profile, and are not private, they are representing the company to the wider public. This means that you need to restrict the use of profanities and stay away from controversial topics that could impact the company. Employees need to be made aware that some company information is confidential and will need to be handled with care.
On company profiles
Social media accounts belonging to the company, such as the Facebook and Twitter pages will need to be handled carefully, so it’s key that you make your employees aware of your brand guidelines. How do you want your company represented? This includes how you want your employees to respond to any mentions of your brand – whether these are positive or negative comments. It’s also important to outline how you want your staff to talk about your services or your products.
Establish who is responsible for what
Depending on the platform, there will be different responsibilities involved - these can vary as each will have their own specific needs. Depending on the skillset and training you give to the teams on the social media channels you use, you might require someone who can approve messages, deal with security and legal concerns and create content that will be posted. It’s important to outline who can and can’t use the social media channels in the business.
State any legalities employees need to be aware of
Whatever you decide to include in your policy, you’ll need to act in line with legal regulations and be aware of any potential legal risks. When it comes to social media, you need to make sure that you’re crediting your source with any content you are using. An example of this would be repurposing an image for your own business gain. The policy will also need to be discuss what can and can’t be shared – making sure that everything gets approved by a senior staff member.
Employees should handle personal accounts with care, especially when it comes to commenting on anything related to the business. They must highlight that the views they publish are their own and not those of the company they are working for.
Manage cybersecurity risks
As the world becomes increasingly digitalized, it becomes more and more necessary to educate yourself and your employees on cybersecurity risks. Companies must be aware and know how to handle any potential threats. To reduce the threat of phishing scams and even ransomware attacks companies must create secure passwords, avoid phishing emails, spam, scams and any malware threats and know how to respond in the event of a breach.
Author: Georgie White is a copywriter at a digital marketing agency in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. After completing his traineeship at the National Youth Film Academy and finishing his studies in Creative Media Production, Georgie transitioned to Mediaworks in August 2017 where he uses his creative flare to write unique content for a range of clients from all different industries.