Did you know that Facebook recently reported over 2.2 billion monthly users throughout the world?
With that kind of exposure, it’s no wonder that businesses are turning to social media to market their products and services.
But how can you make sure that your use of social media doesn’t hurt your company?
It’s simple! Implementing a corporate social media policy can help you make sure that business booms because of your company’s posts.
Read on for 10 reasons your business needs a corporate social media policy and what it should include.
Why You Need a Corporate Social Media Policy
In a world where the emerging working generation has been on social media platforms for 10+ years, it might seem unnecessary to create and enforce corporate social media policies.
Let’s get one thing straight. It is absolutely necessary!
If you’re struggling to understand why your business should have a social media policy, read on.
1. It Reinforces Brand Identity
By establishing a social media policy you’re making it possible for posts across all platforms to reinforce your brand identity.
The goal is to make it sound like there’s only one person behind all the accounts and posts.
Including guidelines about the type of content, the voice, the personality behind social media posts can help you accomplish the kind of continuity that makes a business successful on social media.
2. A Policy Protects Your Company’s Reputation
If you look it won’t take long for you to find an instance when an employee posted inappropriate content to a corporate social media account — or even to their personal account.
Be clear about the kind of content that is appropriate.
Some content may vary depending on the type of business or industry or even the brand. But some topics are universally inappropriate and should always be identified as such in your policy, such as;
- discriminatory posts directed at any race, gender, religious preference, sexuality, or political affiliation
- derogatory posts directed at any race, gender, religious preference, sexuality, or political affiliation
Consider whether any other subjects should be included in the list of topics that are banned from your businesses social media posts, or can result in discipline even if posted to personal accounts.
3. Social Media Policies Can Protect Your Business From Liability
Regulating your employees’ “after-hours” activities can be a tricky and legally vague business.
And while you can’t legally prevent your employees from complaining about work on social media, you can implement policies that prevent them from implicating your company in posts that would drive away customers or prevent business.
Be explicit about your expectations for behaviours on their own personal social media accounts that could affect your business.
4. It Enables Business Growth
Social media policies aren’t just a list of “don’ts.” They can include direction on how to make your business grow through the appropriate use of social media platforms.
If you need a little guidance, don’t be afraid to use a professional to manage your social media accounts, or advise you on best practices. Many professionals offer a boatload of services:
- Total social media management: They do all the posting, replying, liking, etc. for you so you can focus on your business.
- Campaigns and promotions: They can create email campaigns, social media promotions, etc. to increase your following and drive sales.
- Account setup: They’ll create and manage accounts in a variety of social media platforms and post appropriate content for the demographic that uses each one.
- Strategy: They can help you create an effective and realistic social media strategy that will serve you!
Reach out to us if you want a little help using social media to grow your business.
What Every Corporate Social Media Policy Should Include
Here are a few things that every corporate social media policy should include and why!
5. It Should Include Education
Make sure that the employees responsible for social media have a thorough understanding of each platform that is used to advertise.
Consider having an educational crash course on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and any other platforms that your business has a profile on.
Make sure employees understand the terms and conditions, purposes, tools, and demographics for each social media outlet. That way they’ll be able to optimize the usage of each platform.
6. Every Corporate Social Media Policy Should Have a Style Guide
Publish a company-wide style guide that helps employees keep social media posts and graphics cohesive.
Your style guide should include (but not be limited to):
- Company Colours
- Approved fonts
- Graphics, logos, and vectors
- Taglines and other verbiage
Your marketing team can be responsible for your style guide.
7. Personal Vs. Professional Social Media Use
Make a clear distinction between the types of words and subjects that are appropriate for corporate posts.
Whether or not employees choose to abide by those regulations on their personal social media accounts is their own choice.
But you can and should create guidelines about the content and words that are used in your company’s name.
8. Guidelines On Intellectual Property
Be sure to educate employees on what is considered intellectual property (IP).
Whatever you define as such should be considered off limits to social media posts on both personal and professional accounts.
Make it clear that legal repercussions are a natural consequence of the violation of your business’s policies on IP.
9. Clarify Who Is Being Represented
Remind employees that at all times they serve as representatives of the company. The content posted to corporate accounts should reflect that.
The voice used on social media profiles should reflect that of the company, not the employee.
10. Disaster Response Plans
Despite your best efforts, there may be a situation where company policies are violated or an error occurs. It’s always a good idea to have a plan for when disaster strikes.
Disaster plans should include things like:
- How and when to delete posts
- How to apologize for the inappropriate content
- Disciplining violators
- How you will reassure employees and customers that the same mistake won’t be repeated
Don’t assume that you’re safe from social media fails. Have a disaster response plan in place for when (not if) you need it.
The purpose of a corporate social media policy is to protect your business, protect your employees, and increase growth.
And contact us if you need help developing your policy or using social media to grow your business!