For each businesses that I consult with, I always recommend putting together a Social Media policy.
It’s important for your businesses to ensure they let their staff know what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to their personal and professional lives in the Social Media arena.
It’s also important to ensure your business has a crisis plan in place. Think about all the possible “worst case scenarios” and how you will react quickly and professionally.
Author, strategist and industry expert, Brian Solis’ recent blog explained that in 2010:
“75 percent of employers say their business has no formal policy instructing employees on the appropriate use of social networking sites on the job.” The report, “Employer Perspectives on Social Networking,” compiled data from 34,000 businesses in 35 countries.”
EACH employee from Chief Cook to Bottle Washer is a marketing representative of your company. Have you defined what content is OK to post? What is off-limits?
Have you educated your team how to optimize their privacy settings and how keep their personal profiles and friends separate?
If you haven’t even considered a Social Media policy, you should.
In the meantime, give it some thought and read the following:
Brian Solis’ Top 25 Best Practices for Drafting Policies and Guidelines
1. Define a voice and persona representative of the brand’s purpose, mission, and characteristics
2. People expect to interact with people, be personable, consistent, and helpful
3. Keep things conversational as it applies to portraying and reinforcing the personality and value of your brand and the brand you represent
4. Add value to each engagement — contribute to the stature and legacy of the brand
5. Respect those whom you’re engaging and also respect the forum in which you participate
6. Ensure that you honor copyrights and practice and promote fair use of applicable content
7. Protect confidential and proprietary information
8. Business accounts are no place to share personal views unless they reinforce the brand values and are done according to the guidelines and code of conduct
9. Be transparent and be human yes, but also do so based on true value propositions and solutions
10. Represent what you should represent and do not overstep your bounds without prior approval
11. Know and operate within the boundaries defined, doing so protects you, the company, and the people with whom you’re hoping to connect
12. Know when to walk away. Don’t engage trolls or fall into conversational traps
13. Stay on message, on point and on track with the goals of your role and its impact to the real world business in which you contribute
14. Don’t trash competition, spotlight points of differentiation and value
15. Apologize where applicable and according to the established code of conduct. Seek approval by legal or management where such action is not pre-defined
16. Take accountability for your actions and offer no excuses
17. Know whom you’re taking to and what they’re seeking
18. Disclose relationships, representation, affiliation and intentions
19. Refer open issues or questions to those most qualified to answer
20. Practice self-restraint, some things are not worth sharing
21. Empower qualified spokespersons to offer solutions and resolutions
22. Seek the approval of customers and partners before spotlighting their case studies
23. Take the time to interpret the context of a situation before jumping in with a response
24. What you share can and will be used against you – The internet as a long memory
25. When in doubt, ask for guidance
Have you created a Social Media policy for your business, or is it on your to-do list?