With 2.62 billion people expected to be active on social media in 2018, it’s clear that the world is moving forward with a digital presence. Although social media is something we might associate with leisure and spare time, it is important for businesses to address its use in-house — outlining what employees can and can’t do.
The two types of social media policies your business should look at
Allowing your employees to understand the company’s stance on social media usage is vital. You’ll require a social media policy for your brand and another for your employees — they are similar in structure but targeted differently. It’s vital that any social media policy you have in place as a business is enforced with strict measures so that your company is never in a vulnerable position. We’re in a digital world that is constantly changing, so it’s a good incentive for business owners to continuously review their policies and make any necessary changes that will continue to have the best interests of the company at heart.
But what should your company’s social media policy entail?
Why rules and regulations are essential
Beginning your social media policy handbook with rules and regulations creates a good foundation, as they will outline the expectations you have for your employees in terms of their behaviour on social media. On personal social media, if a person has tagged their workplace in their profile and it isn’t private, they are representing the company to the wider public. This means that you need to restrict the use of profanities and stay away from controversial topics that could impact the company.
With employees being privy to company information, they must be confidential and make sure not to disclose any sensitive details.
Brand guidelines for your employees are essential when they’re the ones managing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. How do you want your company represented? This includes how you want your employees to respond to any mentions of your brand — whether these are positive or negative comments. It’s also important to outline how you want your staff to talk about your services or your products.
Introducing roles and responsibilities
Assigning different duties to different people who manage your social media is essential. This can vary depending on the platform, as each will have their own specific needs. Depending on the skillset and training you give to the teams on social media channels, you might require someone who can approve messages, deal with security and legal concerns, and create content that will be posted. It’s important to outline who can and can’t use the social media channels in the business.
Potential legal risks
Make sure that your team are aware of regulation changes and are in line with current expectations. When it comes to social media, you need to make sure that you’re crediting your source with any content you are using, an example of this would be repurposing an image for your own business gain. What can and can’t be shared must also be discussed — making sure that everything gets approved by a senior staff member.
As your employees are likely to have their own social media accounts, you must inform them that when they are interacting with anything that aligns them with the company, that they must state that the opinion is their own.
Focusing on security
Cyberattacks are on the rise. This means that companies must be aware and know how to handle any potential threats. To reduce the threat of phishing scams and even ransomware attacks, companies must create secure passwords, avoid phishing emails, spam, scams, and any malware threats — and know how to respond in the event of a breach.
United Carlton, which offers a visitor management system, says that looking at your business’ social media policy will help strengthen relationships between the brand and the people that make up the brand. This will ensure that your business is not negatively impacted by social media.