Last month we talked about needing a Policy Statement for social media. This month is a list of best practice ideas you can use as one part of your social media strategy.
Your social media policy can be wrapped up into a company's cyber-security policy if you have one. That will vary depending on the type of business, broadly speaking you should at least consider the following:
First, common sense dictates that a company would not want information shared that isn't meant to be public. Does this smack of being too cautious? I guess that depends on the industry you are in. For a big brand it's understandable.
Each employee should state their tweets and posts are theirs, and only theirs and not associated with your company to help protect from brand backlash.
Be sure to state the policy purpose as a definition of the appropriate behavior for employees as it pertains to use of the company's social media, as well as their personal social media in relation to your business.
Define who is authorized to handle the company's social media and the social media format deployed
Define what is appropriate to post on social media and/or the Internet, and the process for verifying appropriateness.
The policy should also address the issue of employees' use of personal social media/Internet with respect to the company. For example, you may want to forbid employees to involve your business in controversial issues or post disparaging remarks about customers/clients or the company and its employees.
The policy should also define who is responsible for responding to customer postings including complaints, comments and compliments. Those responsible for responding should have a well defined process on how responses are handled, including timeframe for responding. This can be critical in the case of complaints and it's an established best practice that customer feedback be quickly acknowledged.
Setting boundaries and educating employees about those boundaries is important, it is all about reputation management. Every business may not be able to use every item here but it can give you a starting point. If you have other ideas, let me know and I can share with our readers.
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