Imagine the following occurring at your business. You hire a social media marketing agency to help develop and implement social media strategies for your brand’s advertising and marketing programs. You give the staff access to your corporate accounts. One day you learn that a staff member from the agency drops the F-bomb while tweeting about your industry on your corporate account. This is the nightmare the Chrysler Group faced.
Crafting a social media policy that outlines your organizations’ guidelines for communicating online saves you from these types of public embarrassments.
Consider this incident. You notice the Internet is slow. Your IT team works on the problem. They discover the problem is due to issues pertaining to the bandwidth. Too many items have been downloaded, and your IT team attributes those items to the thousands of minutes your employees consumed on Pandora and YouTube. This is a what Procter & Gamble endured.
Don’t let these incidents happen to you.
A social media policy helps you to manage and monitor discussions about the company as well as the use of social media networks by employees.
When you write your policy, account for the company’s personal ethics. In other words, ensure the policy upholds the values of the organization. The policy needs to have a strong legal backbone that addresses issues, such as securing trade secrets, compliance with federal and state laws, privacy and employee liability. Keep the policy authentic. Even though many generic templates are available online your businesses policy must speak to the company’s culture and focus on the unique ways the business can give value on social networking platforms.
Start putting your policy together with a task force of social media evangelists at your company and upper management. Outline an approval process and determine who’ll have authority over the social media networks. Clearly establish the content identifying what’s acceptable and what’s unacceptable. Next, do some research. Find effective social media policies and learn how these policies are evolving by visiting the National Labor Relations Board. The Board puts out a report that discusses different social media policies.
Remember, a social media policy avoids risks by protecting the company’s online brand.
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