How to develop your own social media management guidelines

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Many of your most valued employees are already using social media, so why not encourage them to share and promote the values of your company on these sites? At the same time, you must help ensure they're protecting the privacy and integrity of your company. Company policy should apply when your employees are engaged in social media for work purposes and at work, but also during their own personal time.

1.) What Should Be Prohibited?

Employees should be prohibited from engaging in any discussion that pertains to discrimination, sexual harassment and company or client secrets. Employees should avoid participating in any discussion that belittles or ridicules the value of the company's product or service or any discussion that involves name-calling. Remind employees that any abuse of company policies, both online and offline, may lead to termination.

2.) What Can Be Positively Discussed Online By Employees?

The company should encourage employees to participate in social media. It's a great medium to promote your service, product, brand and workplace. Companies can use social media to talk to potential customers, while customers can use it to share their experiences. It's also a useful venue for customers to share experiences. It's a great place to find the people who like your company. Consequently, employees must respect the people they're talking to. They must be knowledgeable and courteous when discussing the company. They must also be transparent by using their real names and stating the name of the company.

3.) What If All My Employees Don't Understand Social Media?

If you don"t already have a "social media director," we suggest that you ask a qualified volunteer to teach the rest of your staff about social media. A class on social media can be a great morale booster for the team.

4.) Should The Social Media Policy Be Pertinent To Every Social Media Channel?

Yes, and it"s a good idea to specify what those channels include and to frequently update the list of approved sites. Currently, the most popular mass-appeal channels include blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest. Your employees and customers are likely using many popular social media applications, which encourage the sharing of conversations, texts, images, slides and videos.

5.) What Are The Initial Steps To Take When Developing A Policy?

The first step: Don't call it a policy. Call them "guidelines." The next step is to invite your staff members who are engaged in social media to help you formulate the guidelines.Get their advice and suggestions. Ask them what they want and tell them what you need. Employees adhere better to guidelines they've helped develop.

6.) Will The Company Be Monitoring Employees' Posts And Profiles?

Since there is no privacy in the social media arena, the company should plan to "listen in" on all conversations about the company through the various social media monitoring programs that are available. This is a good business practice that enables the company to participate in the conversation with customers and potential customers.

7.) How Long Should The Company's Social Media Guidelines Be?

There is no rule. Some of the best guidelines are the shortest. The most important factor is that everyone understands them and that the guidelines encourage participation and dis- courage any negative actions that would bring harm to the company or its employees.

8.) Should Companies Allow Participation In Social Media For Personal Use At Work?

You'll have to set your own rules on this one. Some business categories restrict or limit “personal social media.” Some businesses, such as restaurants, may not allow videos taken of the kitchen. The best way to tackle this issue is to meet with your staff and have them help you set the guidelines.

9.) If My Staff Is Participating In Social Media At Work, On Behalf Of My Company, What Should They Be "Talking" About?

It's important to make sure your staff is engaging in interesting and valuable discussions. Without sounding like a commercial for the company, they may post about product benefits in "everyday situations," special offers, interesting facts, share insights, tips and tricks, as well as share insights, respond to questions and invite suggestions.

10.) Some Of My Staff Members Are "Social Media Gurus." How Can I Tap Into Their Expertise?

Simply talk to them. The generation utilizing social media has an open perspective on global communications. Brainstorm to explore ways to grow your company using social media management. Get customer feedback and build and maintain a community of fans.

By creating social media guidelines, you'll take an important step in navigating this changing media landscape. You'll give your employees clear guidance about what kind of online behavior is encouraged and what kind of online behavior is prohibited. And by empowering them with this information, your employees can become online ambassadors for your brand and company.

 

Download our free template to help create your company's social media management guidelines. 

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Topics: Social Media

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