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Importance of Social Media Policy for Any Sized Business

social-media-policyA lot of the things that happen nowadays, even as work hours are spent on social media networks. The usage of social media is getting more prevalent today. Some examples of these sites are Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, which are used by millions of individuals all over the world in both their private and professional lives. Consequently, many working people are spending more time connecting and communicating via the internet with the help of these sites that is why a lot of businesses now are creating their own social media policies to ensure that their reputation. A social media policy is a business or corporate code of conduct that gives employees the required guidelines for them to be able to post thoughts and content as well as interact on through social media.

As businesses discover the benefits of having a social media presence, there is also a big slice of risk of having very little control on what is shared about the company over the web. The main purpose of the social media policy is to provide and set the expectations for correct working behavior while making sure that every employee’s social networking post will not leave the company a legal target for issues or public embarrassment. Some of the policies include instructions as to how an employee should identify his position on a social networking site and some include restrictions as to how or what type of company information can be exposed. Any business information or anything that could potentially influence the rise and fall of the company’s earnings are almost always included in the company’s social media policy.

For business owners, having a social media policy is a very effective thing to assist employees on how to communicate with the clients and customers, clarify some marketing strategies and messages and help protect the business credibility. It will also serve as reminders for the employee to value the work and the company as they are otherwise ambassadors of the business. This makes social media policy so important and necessary for any businesses. By having this, the company will have gained control how the social media are being used by employees and content posted about the company can then be monitored.

Such a social media policy gives the company a certain level of protection if it is exposed in the event that social media usage is abused. Risks of being exposed to embarrassment and other legal problems can then be managed easily with the help of the policy. The risk of losing reputation, confidential material, business contacts, discrimination suit, and subject of harassment is lessened, if not completely stopped.

Some Important Elements of a Social Media Policy include:

1.  Statement of Policy – Whether or not a employee chooses to create or participate in a blog, wiki, online social network or any other form of online publishing or discussion.

2.  Definitions – Define how employees can use and distribute information in social media.

  • Social Media ChannelsSocial Media Account
  • Social Media Disclosures
  • External vs. Internal Social Media Channels
  • User Profile
  • Copyrights
  • Controversial Issues
  • Official Content
  • Inbound Links
  • Tweets and Retweets
  • Reputation Issues

3.  Outline – Establish practical, reasonable and enforceable guidelines by which our employees can conduct responsible, constructive social media engagement in both official and unofficial capacities.

4.  Protect – Protect our company and employees from violating Municipal, State or Federal rules, regulations or laws through social media channels.

5.  Principles – Organizations trusts and expects employees to exercise personal responsibility whenever they use social media, which includes not violating the trust of those with whom they are engaging. Employees should never use social media for covert advocacy, marketing or public relations.

For companies that are getting into social media, these kinds of policies should be considered as relevant as the strategic plans being implemented because it will also serve as a major foundation in the company’s overall growth and success. Without such policies, employees and other contacts will have no guideline and insight regarding what they are allowed to post online as well as what can get the company and themselves into big trouble. Employees should be mindful of the post they put online, if they are adding value to the company or just posting content for the sake of posting it.

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