Social media is now huge part of everyday life. Social media can be used as a positive tool in the branding of your organisation or it could become the bane of your organisation’s credibility. It’s not only a Facebook page to share food photos with old school friends and post emoticons.
Even though they may have a social media advertising strategy, some organisations ban it internally, not allowing staff to access social media during work hours, even to the extent of blocking it on the organisation’s IT systems. Why not embrace it, show your staff trust and give them responsibility to use social media responsibly?
Why not create and use a corporate social media policy? What should this policy include to ensure that people are using social media responsibly? Here are the 5 key items to include.
1. Access to social media.
Explain why the organisation thinks participation in social media is good for it, and its staff. Define what you mean and include in the term “social media”. From this basis explain why the social media policy exists and how all must take responsibility to achieve those goals.
2. Authorisation to access social media on behalf of the organisation.
Describe how people obtain authorisation to access social media if they want to talk about the organisation, whether on the organisation’s official social media channel or on others.
3. Restrictions on what can be posted.
Clearly state what will not be allowed – personal, hurtful, confidential or inappropriate posts for example, or any content that could harm the organisation.
4. Protocols to follow.
Outline protocols such as the use of the name of the organisation or any “tag lines” and logos. Outline also protocols such as honesty, use of disclaimers (and their texts), ownership of brands, respect and civility and so on.
5. Personal use.
Be clear that any adverse posts about the organisation or employees on personal social media sites will not be tolerated and what sanctions will follow. Discuss the use of company time to access personal social media channels – what is allowed and what is not.
You cannot avoid the use of social media today. Luddites do not win. Create your social media policy and ensure that you mitigate risk and use social media effectively.
Now over to you – what has been your experience of social media in the workplace?