The reasons for implementing a social media policy are tenfold. Having a solid foundation for your employees to navigate the social media world and your business is paramount. However, the bigger question is: how do you create one? It is not as hard as it may seem.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Who are your stakeholders? Don’t create your policy in a vacuum. Gather a few of your top managers and staff to work on the policy as a group. This will allow everyone to have a stake in the creation and there will be better follow-through once implemented.
Assign Roles. Decide who is responsible for what, in regard to posting and sharing and responding. Create a “Response Policy” where you may have a standard response for various situations. Although you cannot possibly have a response for every comment or post, creating a few standard key responses is important.
Example : “Thank you for reaching out to us. We strive for the best customer service. We will take your feedback and be sure to review it.” or “Thank you for sharing your experience with us, we appreciate your insight.”
Define your company values/mission statement. Work with your team to decide what you company values are and be sure that you reflect those values through your social media interactions and in your policy.
Be specific. Don’t write in generalized terms, outline what information is appropriate or inappropriate to disclose. Outline best practices that everyone is aware of.
Empower. Use language that entrusts your employees to represent your business.
Respect your audience. Know who you are talking to in your social media efforts and be sure that everyone in your business who is responsible for interacting with your audience keeps content and discussions on point.
Make it fit. Be sure that the policy that you create works with your business and the employees. Staff are our best ambassadors — you want to encourage them to represent your business. However, you need to clearly define where and how they are representing your business and when it is personal.
The ultimate goal is that you create a document that gives employees a clear idea of what they can and shouldn’t do on-line, and to protect your clients and business. Social media creates a a unique way for your business to communicate with its clients and with your employees. When everyone knows the rules to the game, it can be a fun and interactive experience.
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