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To ensure that your brand is represented well online, it’s important to develop a policy that explicitly outlines the appropriate and inappropriate use of social media by your employees. The policy should clearly emphasize the importance of protecting your brand’s integrity, reputation and values.
Social Media Policy
When creating your social media policy, you'll want to address four main components: how your employees are welcome to use social media, what kind of use is discouraged, what process they should follow if they are unsure of what's appropriate and the consequences for social media misuse.
When deciding what kind of behaviour you want to encourage, keep in mind that you cannot require your employees to use their personal profiles to amplify your brand. What you can do is empower them to engage with your brand if they so choose, and make it as easy as possible to do so. For example, you may invite them to like, RT and share your content if it resonates with them personally. Or, let’s say you’re an organic grocer who gets a lot of questions about the products you carry on Twitter. You might let your employees know that they are free jump in and provide helpful, friendly answers.
This section of your policy should also cover the type of content your employees can share. For example, you may invite them to share photos of food, and weekly specials if they would like, but discourage sharing sensitive data like new partnerships or financial investments.
To provide guidelines for inappropriate social media use, you may ask your employees to not engage with hostile commentary and stay away from putting down your competitors. If an employee's social profile mentions your company, you may request that it’s professional and doesn’t include offensive content, since their profiles are an extension of your brand.
The policy should clearly state who your employees can contact if they have a question about how the policy applies to them and if they want to check in before sharing something. To ensure a thorough understanding, you may want to include a few examples to illustrate what appropriate and inappropriate online behaviour looks like. Lastly, the policy should outline the implications of failing to abide by your social media guidelines, such as verbal or written warnings.
Looking for more? Checkout our blog and learn how to create a social media strategy in 8 easy steps!