If you are using social media for your brand, you would almost certainly have guidelines for how it should be used by your team. But do you have anything in writing?
A social media policy is an essential document for any brand who is active on social media. Rather than a simple list of rules to follow, your social media policy will guide and inspire your activity on social media, as well as your team’s activity on their personal profiles.
Implementing a policy for social media will have a multitude of benefits for your brand, such as consistency in your brand presentation and identity across all platforms, the prevention of security and PR crises (as well as instructions for what to do in the case of one) and the moderation of employee activity and involvement on social media.
Your first step in creating a social media policy is clearly outlining what everyone’s roles are in regards to your brand’s social media. Some questions you may want to ask are:
- Who will plan & strategise social media?
- Which employees can speak on behalf of the company?
- Who is privy to your social media logins?
- Who will manage paid advertising?
- Who is the leader in the event of a crisis?
- Who will induct new staff into the social media policy?
In this section, you should clearly identify all of these staff members (with their contact details) and their responsibilities.
From here, you should touch on the regulations of posting on your brand’s social media. If you have a separate branding document, feel free to refer back to it, but this section should cover:
- Tone of voice and etiquette: how to speak as the brand in captions and responding to other users
- Brand guidelines: how do you speak about your product to ensure consistency in all marketing?
- Confidentiality and privacy: what information are you able to share from the company, and what information are you allowed to retrieve from customers?
- Legal compliance: ensuring your reposts of user-generated content are properly credited to the creator (refer to your local copyright law in this instance).
This would also be an opportune time for you to detail your security protocols surrounding social media.
- How often are your passwords changed, and where are they stored?
- Who is in charge of ensuring apps are updated to their latest version?
- Who can security concerns be directed to?
Outlining all of these details (and ensuring they are current) can help a great deal in making a security breach much less likely.
Another crucial inclusion in your social media policy is defining the acceptable ways in which your employees behave on social media – or perhaps more easily, what is not acceptable. If your employees are able to be identified on social media as working for your brand (this includes listing it on their LinkedIn profiles), their behaviours can be linked back to your brand. Refer back to your brand’s code of ethics – posting hate speech, inappropriate images, or even photos of alcohol could be considered a breach.
A good social media policy would also include guidelines for how your employees may interact with your brand on social media. For example, it may be off-limits to respond to comments on your brand’s posts, however, employees updating their status with a reference to their workday may be fine. It is completely up to you where the line is drawn, but be sure that you’re clear about what the repercussions are if these rules are broken. Clarity and transparency are key to helping employees understand what they can or cannot do, which in turn will help to ensure your brand is always presented the way you want on social media.
Lastly, one of the most important steps which is often forgotten… review your policy often! Social media changes constantly, sometimes overnight, which can mean you may need to remove or add large parts of your policy. Ensure you are always on top of this by regularly reviewing this policy with your team.
If you are looking for a little more guidance, here are some great examples to review and potentially be inspired by:
Need a hand writing up your social media policy? Or maybe ongoing social media management? Get in touch! Whatever your brand has to say with social media, at Social Weaver, we can help you tell your story.