With social media use growing, with no sign of slowing down, it’s really important for businesses that use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to have a social media policy to protect their brand’s reputation.
What is a social media policy?
A social media policy is a set of guidelines for posting and sharing content on behalf of an organisation. It may outline procedures to follow for complaints, negative posts and crises.
Why do you need a social media policy?
A social media policy is not only a preventative measure but a way of ensuring brand consistency in the digital world. Having a code of conduct enables employees to understand how to use social media to engage effectively and reach business goals.
Having a set of social media guidelines for business also reduces the margin for error and helps to point out what the effect and consequences of a particular post could be.
Can social media training help?
A social media policy doesn’t have to be entirely restrictive, but it is prudent to highlight its importance. We would recommend holding a social media training session with your staff to ensure everyone knows how to use social media:
- to achieve objectives
- in an appropriate manner – by circulating or discussing your social media policy.
When social media goes wrong
It only takes one post to damage your brand’s image and reputation, don’t let that be you!
Just take this example of retailer GAP jumping on the bandwagon of (hurricane) #Sandy with a promotional tweet:
The tweet caused a flurry of furious comments from people who criticised GAP for promoting themselves when people were using the hashtag to make sure their families were safe and to find out news about the progress of the deadly storm. Even though GAP were quick to respond, damage was already done.
Hopefully you won’t, but if you find yourself in this type of situation our sister company Mosaic PR & Digital offers crisis support and would be happy to help. Or if you want to get prepared, our crisis management training course could be for you.
What do you include in a social media policy?
Five important things you should include in your social media policy:
- Legalities – make sure your accounts are adhering to the law, rules and regulations for social media and digital platforms. Download this guide by the crown office, which lists social media offences, individual platforms will also state their own T&Cs.
- Be specific – make sure employees understand the legalities and haven’t just skim read your policy. Explain the consequences that non-adherence could have on the business.
- Complaints procedure – highlight what to do and what not to do. Also provide parameters on content posting and sharing.
- Personal accounts – make sure you set out separate guidelines which emphasise how employee posts on their personal accounts could still affect the business.
- Update your policy – make sure you review and update your policy every year to make sure it is still relevant and up to date with laws and regulations.
If you aren’t sure of what to include in your policy or want to ensure you have all bases covered, we can provide help and advice with your social media policy and can create a bespoke social media course for you. Contact the team on 01206 841933 for more information.