How’s your company’s presence on social media? You do use social media, don’t you? In fact, more than simply using it sporadically, you should actually have a social media policy in place. Policies such as this can cover numerous topics. For example, a company may put a ban on employees using social media to interact on behalf of their company (in other words, strict control). At the other end of the spectrum, a company may encourage an environment that is far more relaxed which actually promotes social media use by the company’s employees. A social media policy can lie somewhere in between, as well. Regardless, the policy must be spelled out so that all parties understand the company’s position, and the position of the employees, where social media use is concerned.
Let’s take a look at what’s included in a desirable social media policy.
This has two parts to it. When a crisis occurs, rather than all of the employees jumping online and talking about it through social media, what’s the plan? Who decides?
- On behalf of the company, who is responsible for communication? Who is responsible for managing social media accounts on a corporate level? Are they run by an outside marketing agency or vendor? At a moment’s notice, can social media accounts for the corporation be accessed? Who’s got the corporate usernames, passwords, etc.?
- Who’s in charge? During a crisis, what’s the chain of command? Is it corporate communications? Is it HR? Or maybe there is an entire team that’s in charge.
Highlight positive employee social media use. The public’s perception of your company can be favorably impacted by favorable reactions to posts showing examples of goodwill where your company and employees are concerned. Example: video of your vice president rescuing a puppy.
Remind your employees that they must use social media responsibly. Regularly but gently remind them that you do have a social media policy and that they should be aware of it.
Additionally, quarterly (or so), you should update and review your policy. Make sure it’s relevant to legal issues and changing technologies.
Issues Involving Labor/Legal
The federal labor law actually does protect some of your employees’ social media activity. Check with legal before you stipulate strict, prohibitive details in your social media policy. You don’t want to step on the toes of your employees’ rights – because that’s going right on social media, if you do!
Speaking of legal, make sure that copyright issues are not being violated by your employees when they are posting on social media in the interest of the company. Before sharing photos or content, make sure that your company has the proper permissions.
Sensitive information can fall under this topic as well. Corporate information on a sensitive level may be common knowledge among employees – but do you want it on social media? Things like planned product launches, sales trending, firings/hirings, and more are something that – if posted to social media at all – should be done by management rather than employees.
Remember the Importance of Content
Who is going to write your social media policy? Hopefully, you’ve got some awesome writers who take care of the content on social media where your company is concerned. Have them write your policy as well. No one’s going to read a boring policy, so all the effort will be wasted if it isn’t interesting and/or lacks motivation.
Last but Not Least – Common Sense
Sadly, when common sense was being handed out, many people missed the announcement. Common sense is something that seems to be abundantly lacking in the world today. Whereas you can’t teach common sense, you can use the rest of the above-stated topics to try and make clear where your company stands on the use of social media, so that nothing is left to chance.
A PR Company That Knows the Full Value of Social Media
The fabric of our lives. You probably thought that was cotton, but at JoTo PR, we know that it’s social media. At least in 2020 and beyond. Companies who ignore the importance of social media and its usefulness in crisis situations, marketing strategies, and more, are doomed. But not every head of a company is familiar with LinkedIn or constantly Tweeting. They may not even be on Facebook!
Companies hoping to make any kind of a dent in the information superspeedway must master the language of social media technology. With our team on your side, we can help you use social media platforms to leverage your brand and publicity, increase engagement, and cultivate posts.
Contact us today for information.