Creating a social media policy is important for any organization. It can help to create guidelines as to what is appropriate and what is not. This will help employees to see what the content they should be creating is and helping them to understand a way to present the information in a correct way. This can help an organization reach the goals that have been set for a social media aspect. There are two ways to go about establishing these guidelines. The first is to just wait and react to situations that arise and create the guidelines from that. The second method is to create a clear set of guidelines right from the beginning.
There are a few common goals for social media content:
- Enhancing Brand Awareness
- Protecting Your Reputation
- Enhancing Your Public Relations
- Extending Your Customer Service
- Building a Community of Advocates
- Facilitating Research and Development
- Driving Sales and Leads
- Engaging Customers
Here are a few guidelines that can help to accomplish an important goal, engage customers.
Introduce the purpose of social media
One of the most important questions to ask is, what is the reader going to be taking away from this content? Showing employees what they can do versus what they can’t do is starting to become a common way of writing the guidelines.
Be responsible for what you write
The company needs to take responsibility for what they write. Using common sense and exercising good judgment can reduce the number of mistakes that are made in posting undesirable content.
Consider your audience
Remember that when something is posted anyone can see it. Remembering that potential clients, current clients, and any past/current/future employees can see the content can be very important. Looking at the content before it is published can help to not alienate any of these important groups.
Exercise good judgment
Sharing your opinion is fine but make sure to not offend anyone or have any words that can be interpreted in a negative or derogatory way. Posting offensive content could result in becoming labeled as a narrow minded racist or a hot head. Even while not at work posting offensive content is unacceptable as it may reach people that are in the workplace. The main thing to remember is that even though it may not relate to your job offensive content can still have repercussions.
Remember to protect confidential & proprietary info
This seems like it is common sense to not give out secret information regarding your organization but it has happened. Employers need to tell employees not to share this content and create consequences that are known if it happens. Clearly laying out the punishments can help deter employees from sharing this content and can help protect this information.
While it is important to engage customers through social media, getting other work done also is very important. Finding the right balance can take a little bit of time but it is very important to find.