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A Quick Guide to Developing a Company Social Media Policy

Social media is a big part of your marketing strategy, your brand awareness, and your company image. Not only so, but with the rise of chat platforms like Workplace by Facebook, Yammer & Chatter, internal social media networks (or enterprise social media networks) are integral communication tools for making company announcements, talking about upcoming events, uniting workforces and encouraging employee communication.

These are all good things.

However, unlike other media, social media – both public facing and internal versions are also platforms whereby the content and the conversations that take place are largely out of your control.

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Do you have policies and rules in place to govern employee behaviour in these channels?

Are there topics like politics or other water-cooler conversation for example, that you would not want your employees talking about either internally or externally in social media? Discussions that are not related to your company, not related to their work, or could bring risk or damage to your brand?

Having a well thought out company policy on social media behaviour will set the right expectations for all of your employees, and it will help to protect your company from legal issues that can arise when the policy is unclear.

When creating a social media policy, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Ensure employees understand that the sharing of confidential, proprietary company and customer information is prohibited

  2. Make sure employees understand that derogatory comments on either internal, direct message or public-facing channels are grounds for dismissal

  3. Make sure employees are aware that posting anything that is illegal or even implies breaking the law can pose serious risks to your company/brand

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The next step is making sure your policy is well communicated. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Encourage 100% transparency – if employees are using a personal account to promote your business, they must understand your social media policy and that it must be enforced within all of their posts or the company could be looking at significant risks

  2. Create an employee social media crisis management guide and make sure every employee understands it and knows how to respond in the event of a crisis

  3. Be sure your employees are well versed on how to protect themselves online – be it a personal or a company profile – what happens on the internet, stays on the internet.

  4. If you are in a regulated industry, you will need to make sure your employees understand the regulations for your industry and how that affects their specific behaviour in social media (FINRA, FDA, FTC, HIPAA, SEC, etc. ALL have rules around the use of social media)

  5. Make sure your employees know that the company and anyone representing the company – that’s the employee that is presenting as an employee – does not endorse people, products, services or organizations. If they are representing your company, they are representing you.

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The last piece of enforcing a social media policy is policing it. You have a policy, you have rolled it out to your employees, and now you need to make sure they follow it! Policing social media can be tedious – comments and posts and messages are happening in several different places, all at the same time – and employees have the ability to delete and edit what they post.

PageFreezer has a social media monitoring solution that allows you to set up alerts on the use of forbidden keywords, character strings and topics that could violate your social media policy and put your company in trouble. In addition to monitoring these channels, we archive them too, so if changes are made, and you need proof of the change – we have you covered.

Schedule a Demo with PageFreezer and see this tool in action

This guest blog was written by our Director of Enterprise Sales, Amy Ross.
Connect with Amy on Linkedin! 

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