The ins and outs of social media seem to become increasing complex and overwhelming with new tools and platforms appearing every day. Just when you think you cannot absorb one more bit of social media related information, there is one last thing that you absolutely must consider before involving your company in social media in any form. A social media policy is a must for any company looking to establish a presence on the web.
A social media policy is a set of rules, procedures and guidelines dictating how you and your employees will conduct yourselves when engaging in social media networks.
I believe a social media policy is essential to businesses for several reasons:
First, all employees need to be aware of the branding, voice, message and image the company is looking to convey. By creating and distributing a social media policy to all employees who will be engaging in social media practices on behalf of the company, you ensure a consistent and reliable message across all fronts.
Second, procedures need to be established for dealing with customer interaction. Employees of your company need a social media policy to dictate how, when and who is to interact with customers and clients via social media networks. Whether you have certain employees designated to handle customer issues or you prefer to handle them yourself, a social media policy will ensure that customers receive personal attention, but no confusing crossed lines.
Lastly, a social media policy will dictate what employees are to do in the situation that negative press or attention falls on the company for any reason. A clear message on how these situations are to be handled can be outlined in a social media policy, equipping all or just a few employees to deal with the containing or repairing of negative social media messages spreading.
Taking the time to create a social media policy is a necessary step to preserve customer service, outline employee responsibilities, and keep your message consistent across all faces of the company. While it may seem obvious, a clear social media policy can save a lot of headaches in the end.
Does your company have an established social media policy – and if so – what are it’s key points or differentiators?