4 Things Your Social Media Policy Should Include
Businesses of all shapes and sizes are now encouraged to manage a social media presence, but many aren’t sure how to successfully go about it. Ill managed social media channels can do your brand more harm than good, and so a social media plan is imperative to make sure that risk is handled appropriately. Even if your social media is handled by a single person, a plan will provide a blueprint if anyone needs to step into the breach and provide guidance when new situations crop up. Here are four things that policy should include.
1. Risk Management
Consider the likely risks of your company’s exposure. Are you in a high profile or controversial industry? You may need to put in stricter moderation protocols than if you run a local cafe. Risk management assessment tools are readily available and can be applied to social media strategies. Bear in mind that although your business may operate from 9am to 5pm, social media operates 24/7, so if your platforms allow public interaction and feedback, you will also need to take into account for the risk that a negative event could occur out of your standard operating hours.
2. Role responsibility
Your plan should state who is in charge of the overarching social media policy, who has access to various platforms and what level of access they have. A bigger organisation might, for example, want a few people to keep an eye on comments and delete offensive ones if necessary, but only have one person posting on behalf of the company to keep the message on-brand and consistent. Alternatively, choose several people who can post, but ensure that all messages are vetted by a single manager before publishing.
3. Staff training
Any employee who has responsibility for part of the social media plan should be trained in how to use the relevant platforms as well as the policy around moderation and posting. It’s worth considering a short course in social media platforms if there isn’t a resident expert, because most social media applications have a number of features that can optimise your usage and aren’t necessarily obvious to users. Consider investing in social media management software to streamline processes.
In addition, all staff should be informed of the company policy on personal social media use and upholding company values at all times.
4. Comment moderation
This is an important part of the planning stage because whatever approach you choose, the key is consistency. Do you respond to critical comments or delete them, and at what point does a comment cross the line between constructive criticism and unhelpful vitriol? Any company with a reasonable media profile will attract trolls, but it can take some skill to spot those people from genuine customers who are providing feedback.
All of this might seem overwhelming, but bear in mind that you can hire a professional social media manager who will have experience in dealing with all of the above. Failing that, work through a comprehensive plan that includes the above elements, and you’ll be well ahead of the pack.