Play By the Rules: Developing a Good Social Media Policy

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Knowing where to begin your social media efforts can be confusing and frustrating. With so many different social media platforms to fully understand, it can be difficult to know how each one will affect your company. It is important for you to develop, and for everyone on the team to understand, your company’s social media policy. Your social media policy should include rules to follow when utilizing company specific social media platforms.

Some important things to remember about social media:

1) Everyone is on social media:

Your content on every platform is being shared with everyone that has access to the Internet. You have the potential to reach a wide range of individuals.

2) What you say is what people will read:

After you post anything on a social media platform, it is up to the reader to interpret. The Internet lacks a “tone of voice” that a phone-call or face-to-face conversation can clearly get across.

3) Your name is tied to your social media platforms:

The Internet allows page visitors to make their own opinions of the company based off of what is posted; this includes on personal pages. You have the opportunity to excel OR damage your brand by what you post.

4) It’s a two-way conversation:

Although you think your job may be done as soon as you post your content, page visitors have the opportunity to comment. This is a great opportunity for your company to engage in conversation with what could be a potential client.

What do you include in your social media policy? Your social media policy should follow and reflect your company’s already established policies for its employees. Some tips to on making a great and effective social media policy for your company:

1) Respect yourself and your audience:

We have all experienced or witnessed an individual who has made their own opinion of a company known via the company’s social media platforms. Resist starting an argument with the individual.

2) Be truthful in your content:

When your credibility is lost, it is incredibly difficult to regain the trust of your customers. Make sure the information you are posting is accurate and truthful.

3) Be responsible and remember you represent your company:

Anything you post online through a social media platform is a reflection of the company you work for, represent, own, or manage. Inappropriate content can cause a lot of damage for your company.

4) Think before you post:

Once it’s posted, it’s available to millions of people.

5) Admit your wrongs:

We all make mistakes and it is important to own up to them quickly and humbly. Correct the error as soon as you are made aware of it and apologize with humility.

6) Provide valuable content:

Be unique in what you post and make sure it is valuable to your audience. You could be reaching your next client and/or connection with everything you post.

Social media has greatly impacted the world around us, and has become one of the means by which we communicate with one another. Revisit your company’s social media policy and make sure all employees are fully aware of their responsibilities on different platforms. By making everyone aware, you mitigate the risks of a negative online presence.


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