- Gather Your Team
A social media policy cannot be written by one person alone. It must be unique to your organisation and ideally should have input from many different people with a variety of skill sets.
A team approach ensures that key areas of risk are managed properly and that any future challenges that may arise are handled appropriately.
2. Focus on Creating Culture
Social media is organic. It changes every day. Bureaucratic polices aren’t likely to be successful. Instead, we want a culture of innovation, idea-sharing, problem-solving, and creativity.
As you write your policy, include processes that reinforce a culture of evaluation and learning. Here are some questions to consider:
- Who is on your social media team?
- How often so they meet?
- How are problems/challenges handled and by whom?
- How will we evaluate our successes and learn from our failures?
- 3. Consider Legal Ramifications
Many of the court cases coming out about social media are labour relations issues.
Traditionally employee organising took place in person or over the phone. With the advent of social media, it also takes place online. This means that even a casual Facebook conversation about working conditions may be protected under law. Each situation is different, but the bottom line is this: be careful about telling employees what they can and cannot do on their own personal social media sites.
4. Create Two Policies
It is considered a best practise to have two social media policies: one for the employees using social media for their job and one for employees using social media in their personal lives.
The first policy, focusing on job related activities, should cover defining your team, articulating roles and responsibilities, branding guidelines, and becoming clear about what internal and external policies must be complied with.
The second policy focussing on employees using social media in their personal lives, should give employees information about what they can and cannot say about the company on their site.
Words of caution: it is dangerous to require employees to use their own personal social media accounts to connect with your company online. They may choose to do so, but let that be their choice. The last thing any manager wants to do is learn more about the employee’s private life than he/she needs to know.
5. Don’t Let It Collect Dust
The cyber-environment changes frequently. Social media polices should be reviewed every six months. Let everyone on the team review the policy separately and then together.
Ask yourselves; is this still relevant? Does this help us do our jobs? How has the social media environment changed recently? Are there any legal updates that apply?
Social media policies aren’t the most exciting part of social media; however if they are developed well, they can support, empower and engage staff as they in turn engage your clients.
|BPW Innovative Business Woman of the Year 2005
Listed in Top 40 Irish Female Entrepreneurs: Image Business 2006
Listed in Top 100 Women in Business by Entrepreneur Magazine 2006 & 2007
Finalist Image Magazine Young Businesswoman of the Year 2008