Once you have made the commitment to embrace social media, the next step is implement set policies. These policies will help you manage not only the day to day aspects of your social media efforts, but also the often unforeseen issues that can crop up from time to time.
The first step is deciding what can and cannot be shared by any employees, whether or not they are actually assigned to promoting your company on social networking sites. The most basic policy is of course that only information that is meant to be shared with the public should be shared. Even though this seems to be very cut and dried, you would be surprised at how many companies are caught unawares by employees sharing secrets, whether wittingly or unwittingly.
Next, it is important to institute a policy which states that the opinions expressed by employees are their own, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of your company. This should be made clear by all employees who are utilizing social media. While some may feel that this is overly strict, at the end of the day, safe is definitely much better than sorry.
Another policy that should go without saying, but still needs to be said is that anyone interacting with the public for your company must maintain a friendly and helpful manner and should not engage in any public disputes on social networking sites. This is one of those policies where you are simply covering any and all eventualities and protecting yourself should an employee go off the wall and verbally attack or inflame a customer.
Once you have these policies in place, it’s time to decide how much your employees are allowed to express on social media sites. If you’ve clearly stated that opinions stated are those of the employees, you have a little more room to allow your employees to voice their own opinions, so long as they are not contrary to the company or could be construed as damaging. Most employees are fully aware that there are things they should and should not say, but it is still helpful to have reminders in place.
Only you can decide how strict or how soft you want your social media policies to be. Whatever road you decide to take, the important thing is actually having a policy, publicizing it to employees and enforcing the policies when necessary.
Do you have questions about creating a social media policy for your company? Let the experts at Contemporary Staffing help you create a policy that is right for your unique needs!