Once you've written your social media policy, don't just file it away and forget about it. Here's how to enforce it in your company.
In this mini-series on social media policy, we’ve dealt with:
- why your firm needs a social media policy
- who should write it
- what needs to go in the policy
But this doesn't mean you're done. It’s worth also thinking about what you need to do after you have written it.
The temptation is to think “done, tick… let’s move on”. Well, no. Leaving your social media policy tucked away on the system is actually the last thing you should do.
You need to now educate your employees (and partners) to the contents of this policy, and what it means for them in their day job – and also outside of their day job. The internet is on 24/7, and the "issues" that emanate from social media are more likely to start outside the firm’s core working hours.
Your employees need to know about the existence of this policy, and what it means for them. For example, can they just start to write a blog on behalf of the firm, or do they need permission to do this? What happens if they want to start tweeting or blogging for personal reasons? Do they still need permission to do this?
Ideally, you need to make sure that every employee knows the key themes and messages within the policy and some examples of what they can or can’t do – and the consequences of doing that.
To keep the lawyers happy, it helps to get every employee to sign to say that they've seen the policy and agree to act within the policy and know what will happen if they don’t.
This may sound a little draconian, but attending an employee tribunal is a time consuming and expensive business. Do you really want to be placing your firm at risk by not educating your staff about the presence of the policy and what it means for them?
Heather Townsend is the author of The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking. and the founder of The Efficiency Coach. Follow her Partnership Potential and Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks.