How to Design a Social Media Policy for Employees

Promoting social engagement through internal stakeholders can grow your business or brand activity, and can be achieved by readily promoting social activity within your business. It makes perfect sense for your experts to be active and engaged, to promote an inclusive community driven brand.  

The importance of social media policies for employees

It’s important for companies to create and apply social media policies that set guidelines covering how staff use social media. Your guidelines should be specific to your business and incorporate your brand ethos into posts.

Social media policies should be brief and only cover what’s relevant.

Policies should be easy-to-follow and not look like legal documents, and be flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances.

What your policy should include

By applying a social media policy, you help minimise the chance of PR disasters and ensure staff behave in an acceptable manner to reduce the tarnishing of your brand or image.  

Your social media policies should include:

1) Brand Guidelines

Your policy should set out how to deal with topics including:

  • Social
  • Brands values
  • Political
  • News and events

The policy should set the tone for conversations across these topics, to demonstrate the voice your company should share in the public eye.

2) Encourage and empower staff

Guideless are designed to empower staff and drive creativity and expression from within your business.  

The policy should encourage activity and enable employees to identify problems and not contribute to ongoing arguments or conflict not regarding the best interests of your business.

3) Guard against security risks

 Various attacks, whether through malicious social engineering or phishing attacks aim to gain access to sensitive internal or employee accounts. Employees should be trained to identify these threats, learn how to avoid and minimise them.   

For these reasons, a social media policy should:

  • Teach employees about the importance of regularly updating software
  • Show employees best practice in security, including password strength,
    sharing password protocols and the importance of two factor authentication (2FA)
  • Teach employees to think, identify threats and act accordingly
  • Outline the steps to take should a breach occur  

4) What can and cannot be shared

Employees can’t be expected to understand what can and can’t be shared with the public without proper training.

Social media policies should teach staff how to:

  • Identify what company information is and isn’t acceptable to discuss online  
  • Decide what information can be curated from third party sources and the process to do this correctly  

Who should the social media policy cover?

Social media policies can vary depending on individuals’ roles within a business. Some roles have access to sensitive information so they could be held to a higher standard.  

Senior staff may be held to higher standards to not tarnish a brand. It might not be appropriate to have your senior partners publicly discussing foreign events with personal views intermingled in the public eye.

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to reduce the policy complexities and treat all staff with the same level of accountability.

Who’s responsible for what?

Finally, there needs to be a plan that outlines what to do if something does go wrong. If an employee does make a mistake, what should they do when they realise it? Who should they contact and what can they do themselves to minimise the impact?

Somebody within the organisation needs to be appointed as the go-to person in the case of an issue. They need to have a plan in place to minimise damage, or have the means to organise appropriate responses for problems as they arise.

As a marketing tool, social media is not only here to stay, but is increasing its influence. It’s a great way to let followers know what the business is up to and what its latest products and services are. It’s also a tool that empowers staff to be part of the conversation.

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