Globally, a very important issue facing companies of all types and sizes involves the use of social media by employees. Whether we are considering comments on company social media or observations at personal social media pages, there is a lot to be concerned about. In particular: (1) Is the desired company messaging presented consistently? (2) Do employees post anything that may reflect negatively upon their employers?
Recently, Larry Alton (writing for Social Media Examiner) presented these valuable recommendations:
“Want to help your employees better engage on social media? Wondering how a social media policy can help? A social media policy gives your employees guidelines for interacting with customers and protecting their personal safety, as well as your business’s reputation. In this article, you’ll discover three tips for creating a social media policy for your employees.”
(1) “Explain Who Can Speak for Your Company on Social Media. Your social media policy needs to explain who can or can’t speak on behalf of the company on social media. For example, Walmart has a strict social media policy that prohibits regular employees from answering customer complaints or questions directed toward the company. Walmart has an official social media team specifically for that purpose. However, not all policies have to be as strict as Walmart’s. In fact, a more relaxed policy can still protect your business and generate trust among your staff and fans. Experienced employees who are passionate about customer service may have solid advice to help customers resolve their concerns.“
(2) “Create Detailed Guidelines for Business and Personal Conduct on Social Media. Your social media policy should provide detailed content guidelines for all of your employees who regularly (or occasionally) post on social media as your business. To help employees understand your expectations and create a consistent voice for the business, you can include standard responses to common situations in your policy [such as handling complaints, posting on personal accounts, etc.].”
(3) “Protect Your Employees and Sensitive Business Information. You can’t assume employees know what you consider ‘sensitive information.’ Also, many people share every aspect of their lives on social media. Your policy must clarify what business-related information employees shouldn’t share. You need to prohibit posts that put your business or staff at risk and explain why certain information creates a risk. If you run a coffee shop, for example, information on your opening procedures can be considered sensitive information since someone can use it when looking to steal from or hurt your employees.”
Click the image to read more from Alton.
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