Creating an Effective Social Media Policy

Social media is a fun place to grow your business, but without proper knowledge and experience, it can also be a fairly dangerous venue to commit crucial faux pas. It is important to secure policies that can minimize social media pitfalls and protect the identity of your brand across multiple channels.

What is a Social Media Policy?

Social media policy is a set of rules that guides your employees who use social media either as part of their job or for personal use. Every enterprise who manages social media accounts for its brand should secure a well-wrought social media policy. Why? Because it cushions the brand from unfortunate events or blunders. It generally aims to preserve your brand reputation & identity while it protects you from getting into PR issues or social media blunders. 

7 Tips for Crafting your Social Media Policy

1. Consult Your Team

Your company’s social media policy should be influenced by the perspective of the people for which it is created. A sensible and effective policy should include inputs from the management down to the employees directly involved in social media. This helps address issues from different viewpoints to create a granular policy that’s unique to your organization’s needs. 

2. Compliance, Include External or State Policies or Regulations

When you consult your team, also include the savvy legal staff in order to provide useful guidance on external policies like data protection law, copyright and other regulations concerning the cyberspace. The social media policy is where you want to put guidelines accessible for employees to make sure your social media profile is in compliance with the industry regulation and state law.

3. Promote Creativity and Company Culture

Far from limiting your social media efforts, an ideal social media policy is one that promotes a solution-driven culture that encourages innovation and adaptability in the ever-changing digital world. First, you want to integrate your company culture to the policy you want to craft. Next, you want to promote creativity among your social media team that is resilient to drastic changes of the internet.

4. Create Two Policies

It is ideal to have two separate policies: one is to govern employees using social media for the organization and another for employees using their personal social media accounts. The first one is given, but the second one is something that organizations should give extra detail on. For instance, the second policy should discuss what they can and cannot say about the company. Privacy is one issue at stake here, following your brand reputation. Therefore, it is important to guide your employees on how they should use their social media accounts as it can affect your organization.

5. Tackle the Representation of the Organization.

Following the above tip, you probably have seen twitter accounts that include “tweets and contents are my own” on their profile bio. Chances are, these people are following a social media policy. They do not want to associate their tweets from any brand or organization, hence the disclaimer. Representation of the company is one crucial part in your second policy as it will protect your organization and your employee from any trouble.

6. Address Crisis Management

Mistakes are inevitable, but you have all the capacity to contain the damage it could create. In times of trouble, your social media policy should guide you on how to address the issue and manage the problem. When integrating crisis management in your policy book, you should be able to identify how the problems must be handled and by whom.

7. Keep Jargon at the Minimum

Make sure employees can easily understand and relate to the content of your social media policy. Sure, there could be few legalese, but keep it at the minimum or avoid it altogether. If unavoidable, provide a working definition. Note that you want your employees to understand the social media policy well. As such, write it in plain language and provide concrete 

A well-wrought social media policy can protect your brand across your enterprise’s channels. By following the above mentioned tips, you can also craft your own that matches your company culture and can effectively secure your business in the event of untoward pitfalls.

Here is an example of a very well written policy from adidas that you can use as reference. 

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