Opinion

What should your social media policy cover?

6 min read

19 January 2018

With around 2.46bn social media users in the world today, it is clear that the digital world has consumed us all. That's why it's essential for companies to implement a social media policy.

Although social media is something we might associate with leisure and spare time, it is important for businesses to address its use in-house – outlining what employees can and can’t do with a social media policy.

Where a social media policy is concerned, there are two types to explain, so we’ve teamed up with print management software provider United Carlton to find out what businesses must have in their social media policies for it to prove effective.

The two types

When creating a social media policy, you need to make your workers aware of two different areas. You’ll require a social media policy for your brand and another for your employees – they are similar in structure but targeted differently.

It’s vital that any social media policy you have in place as a business is enforced with strict measures so that your company is never in a vulnerable position.

We’re in a digital world that is constantly changing this is a good incentive for business owners to continuously review their policies and make any necessary changes that will continue to have the best interests of the company at heart.

So, what should your social media policy cover? Let’s start things off with…

Rules and regulations

This will basically be your company’s code of conduct. It will outline the expectations you have for your employees in terms of their behaviour on social media. On personal social media, if a person has tagged their workplace in their profile, and are not private, they are representing the company to the wider public.

This means that you need to restrict the use of profanities and stay away from controversial topics that could impact the company. 

It’s also important to inform employees that they are required to be confidential with the information they are exposed to when working in the company. They should not discuss this across social media platforms.

When it comes to company social media platforms, such as the business Facebook page or Twitter account, it’s important to discuss brand guidelines. How do you want your company represented?

This includes how you want your employees to respond to any mentions of your brand – whether these are positive or negative comments. It’s also important to outline how you want your staff to talk about your services or your products.

Roles and responsibilities

You also need to outline different roles and responsibility across social channels. This can vary depending on the platform, as each will have their own specific needs.

Depending on the skillset and training you give to the teams on social media channels, you might require someone who can approve messages, deal with security and legal concerns and create content that will be posted. It’s important to outline who can and can’t use the social media channels in the business.


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Potential legal risks

It’s important to address any legal risks in your social media policy to make sure that you’re in line with all regulations. When it comes to social media, you need to make sure that you’re crediting your source with any content you are using, an example of this would be repurposing an image for your own business gain.

It also needs to be discussed about what can and can’t be shared – making sure that everything gets approved by a senior staff member. 

When it comes to a personal account of an employee where they find themselves commenting on something that relates to your business, they must highlight that the views they publish are their own and not those of the company they are working for.

Security

As the world becomes more digital, there are many cyber risks for a business. This means that companies must be aware and know how to handle any potential threats.

To reduce the threat of phishing scams and even ransomware attacks companies must create secure passwords, avoid phishing emails, spam, scams and any malware threats and know how to respond in the event of a breach. 

It’s important for all businesses to look at reviewing their social media policy to maintain a trusted relationship with their employees and create boundaries. This will ensure that your business is not negatively impacted by social media.

MediaWorks on behalf of United Carlton


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