Almost 95% of web users are actively engaged on social media. Your friends, family, and co-workers are all spending hours every day updating photos, posting, sharing, tweeting, retweeting, snapping, live-streaming and more.
Social media guidelines dictate how to behave on social media in a positive and healthy way for the benefit of the company, employees, and customers. These guidelines include tips on etiquette, resourceful tools, and many other links.
Now, it is up to you to determine the intensity and direction of the impact of their engagement on various social media platforms.
The concept of social media guidelines should not be confused with those of social media policy and social media style guide.
Social media guidelines do not restrict the employees but rather provide the essential tools for them to utilize social media efficiently0 when it comes to your business’s reputation. If used correctly, it can aid in the broadening of your brand’s reach.
On a similar note, if you are looking for professional assistance to aid you in crafting social media guidelines, our team of social media marketing geniuses will be glad to help you out!
The elements included in effective and efficient social media guidelines
Every type of business is different. And thus, the social media guidelines will be a bit different, albeit a few similarities. You have to create the social media guidelines which will fit with the type of business and industry you are in.
There are a few standard but extremely important elements that have to be included in your guidelines. Let’s take a look at these.
1. Actively engage on social media during normal work hours
Many companies have a stringent policy regarding the use of social media during office hours. In the current tech-savvy era, this can work against your company’s brand image. Your business has to evolve with the times. By encouraging your employees to utilize various social media platforms to promote themselves and your brand on the professional level, you are motivating them to build your brand’s image.
Instead of pushing orders regarding the use of sites, platforms, and the type of responses, offer suggestions for best practices to be taken advantage of. This will aid in their own professional growth whilst boosting your brand’s public image.
2. List your company as their employer on personal accounts
When your employees associate themselves with your company, a relationship is fostered. This professional relationship has to be cultivated. By motivating your employees to list your company as their employer on their personal social media accounts, you are building trust, authenticity, and authority within the spectrum of your target audience.
Also, when a person wants to join a company that will aid in their professional growth and scouts your brand, you want that potential employee to choose your company.
How do you convince them to choose you?
A substantial number of these potential employees will check out various social media platforms to see what others have to say about your company. Thus, it’s extremely important that your employees put forth the best image of your company. In a way, they are your brand ambassadors.
You can aid your employees in creating professional accounts on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Encourage them to highlight their contributions to the company and the subsequent positive effects on the growth of the company. And, a very important note to keep in mind. Ask them to share on other social media platforms as well.
3. Stick to the official accounts
In order to avoid the use of localized or personal accounts for the promotion of content by your employees, you have to create a list of all the official corporate accounts and include them in your guidelines. This will make it easier for the employees as well, as it will clear any doubts regarding the use of the accounts for brand-related subjects.
In case an employee is stating his opinions on varied topics like politics, religion, etc on his personal accounts, they have to add a disclosure that these are purely their own and not the company’s.
You can also introduce a social media request form which will enable your employees to suggest any new accounts, content, strategies, and ideas. Many of them will enthusiastically participate and engage in a conversation-like format rather than using the medium of channels such as emails.
To promote your company’s social media channels, share the links with your employees and motivate them to follow. You will showcase your brand’s functioning on social media. In case you have a social media representative, tell your employees how they can collaborate with the social media team.
4. Involvement of legal concerns
You have to ensure that your employees are aware of the legalities involved in the use of social media. By including legal aspects regarding
- Intellectual property
As an employer, you do not want anyone to file a copyright infringement case against your company. By making your employees cautious of the same, you ensure a smooth flow of interaction on social media.
5. The clause of privacy
This is an aspect that has to be highlighted as it is of prime importance. Ask your employers not to share or disclose
- Personal information about themselves.
- Personal information about colleagues.
- Private communications.
- Finance-related matters.
- Sensitive information regarding projects.
This will ensure that any sensitive information related to your company and employees does not get plastered on social media, maintaining your integrity and authority in the industry.
6. Issues related to cyber-security
Any data online is vulnerable to innumerable cyber-attacks. Thus, it’s crucial to keep a few things in mind.
- Use a mix of characters to make your passwords strong.
- Use different passwords for different social media accounts.
- Do not use personal information like passwords for the company accounts.
- Share only the required personal or professional data.
- Utilize a two-factor authentication login procedure.
- Avoid opening suspicious links, emails, pages.
- Use strong anti-virus software.
- Use a secure internet connection.
7. Rules related to harassment on social media
Every company has to have strict rules regarding any form of online harassment, especially on social media. And it has to make them clear to its employees. You have to ensure that your employees do not engage in any form of harassment with others online. And if they do, they should be aware of the repercussions.
Also, your employees might face harassment on online platforms. You have to provide the necessary protocols and resources to deal with this. Ensure your employees know how to deal with trolls, bullies, etc- either by ignoring, reporting or blocking them. Many employees might require support as well. Explain how and where they can receive it. Provide the portal where they can report such issues.
For example, if an employee comes across an unhappy customer or a disgruntled ex-employee, it’s best to try to resolve the issue through other means, such as a personal call. And, if any content is related to the company, the issue has to be directed to the social media manager of the brand, instead of responding themselves.
Make this procedure crystal-clear to your employees so that it aids them as well as your company to strategize and implement the necessary decisions.
A few miscellaneous points to keep in mind
To make your employees more aware of different kinds of company policies, you can include links to your
- social media policy
- community guidelines
- Code of conduct
- Privacy policies
- Employee agreements
Also, provide information regarding the portal where they can send their queries and get them resolved. It can be the contact information of a person or a particular department. Additionally, include the date of the update of your social media guidelines. Your employees should not have the notion that they are being asked to follow guidelines that are outdated and irrelevant.
To sum up…
You want your employers to be as interactive, within and outside the circle, as possible. But, when it pertains to your company, they have to follow certain norms and rules. By circulating these social media guidelines amongst your employees, you ensure that they are well-aware of the rules associated with the use of social media.
Introducing training videos, conducting employee meetings, sharing relevant information through various channels are some of the ways to ensure that your employees utilize the correct and productive methods to engage on social media. Your brand will witness a higher social ROI when such guidelines are productively utilized.
Remember, direct your employees and they shall take it forward from there.