Some businesses fear social media. This Net4wiseowls social media policy for business – 10 key areas will hopefully help towards reassuring the fearful
1. Negative Comments When a negative comment is posted keep calm. Always have the businesses brand reputation in your mind. Do not ignore any negative comments and remember there is an online audience watching. If you feel out of your depth seek support from a social media specialist.
2. Buy In This is the hardest part and requires excellent communication skills to engage employees and explain why and how the policy will be implemented. Few people like policies and even fewer like being told that the businesses social media policy operates 24/7. Training should be given to all employees. This includes employees signing they have read the businesses social media policy.
3. Productivity Business and social media are becoming more blurred so it is important to highlight that time on social media should not distract or interfere with work.
4. Participation The employee’s writing on the businesses social media sites praising the businesses products, services, fellow workers and positively engaging with customers etc. should be encouraged.
5. Respect Always respect your audience. Employees should not rant, swear, knock fellow employees or post derogatory comments about the business or competitors, etc.
6. Confidentially A billboard is similar to social media and is not the place for confidential information, i.e. classified material, revenues, potential innovations and tenders, competitor analysis, sensitive customer information, etc.
7. Humanise Don’t speak in a cold corporate politically correct voice. When you make a mistake admit it and deal with it. Do not post anonymously on social media sites.
8. Ownership Clarify to employees that the business owns the content posted on the businesses social media platforms and intranet sites.
9. Monitor The employers monitoring of social media must be consistent with the Data Protection Act and the Employment Practices Code. Existing business policies still apply regarding bullying, sexists / racist remarks, discrimination, harassment etc. These will be subject to the normal business disciplinary procedures.
10. Legal Its essential that your legal representative agrees your final draft policy to ensure best practice and compliance with the law. The impact on human resource, marketing, sales, and existing email, Internet policies, etc. should also be taken into account.
If you require a robust and concise social media policy please contact me.