Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Creating your Social Media Policy in 7 Steps.

Why do you need a social media policy?

It can be empowering and an excellent competitive weapon! A Social Media policy should be an extension of your current employee code of conduct, and marketing guidelines.  Thinking of it in these terms, simplifies it for everyone involved.  Whenever a new tool or technology is introduced it creates new opportunities and as well as new possible issues.  As a large number of your employees are using Social Media, a policy helps them understand their role.  

When used properly, a social media policy can turn your employees into your largest source of new FANs and Followers.   Having your employees properly share, retweet or mention your social media efforts is powerful!
Once created, have it signed off by your human resources or legal. Next incorporated it into your employees welcome packages, so it's signed by each new employee.  For existing employees, have it shared and signed off by each.

Here are the seven steps often followed to create the meat of your social media policy.   

1. Identify your company's Social Media objectives.  Goals, vision, and purpose.
2. Indicate which Social Media platforms your are officially going to use.  
3. Coordinators - Identify who your official social media administrations are for your company.  If an employee has content for the company's official social media channels, let them know how to share their content with the Social Media Administrator for official distribution.  
4. Code of Conduct - Often work ethic, respect and professionalism. The Code of Conduct for Social Media would be the same as the traditional employee Code of Conduct.
5. Encourage employees to become FANs and follow from their personal accounts. Encourage employees to share, mention and retweet as appropriated, keeping in mind the Code of Conduct principles.
6. Confidentiality and Copyright is the same on Social Media as any other communications vehicle.
7. Monitoring - the company will likely "listen" online for their company name, if they see an employee's activity violates the company's Code of Conduct, the company would take similar steps  as if an employee violated any traditional code of conduct behavior.   

Here is an example of a  social media policy from Okura Hotel & Resorts.

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