So you are going to do it — you are going to give your employees the power to use social media. Congratulations! It is a positive step that can produce powerful results.
It is a good idea to provide some guidelines in the form of a policy that spells out out the “do’s” and the “don’ts”. In fact, the more ‘do’s’ the better as a positive social media policy with clear guidance and suggestions will empower your employees.
Here are some suggestions of what to include in a social media policy.
Goals: always give your employees clear objectives — what are you trying to achieve with your social media policy? Is it better customer service? Increased engagement? A better understanding of your audience? Clear objectives will make the connection between social media and your vision for the future of the organization.
Benefits: Don’t be surprised if not everyone sees the benefits of using social media. Be clear again on what specific benefits you expect from using social media. Establish benchmarks and metrics to measure the benefits so that people can see the results of their social media activity.
Philosophy: Every organization will see social media in a slightly different way. Ensure you communicate your philosophy so that your employees understand the unique role and approach to social media in your organization.
Privacy: Many organizations have privacy initiatives and policies. Ensure that these include social media and that your social media policy references your privacy rules.
Terms of Service: Most social media tools have terms of service agreements. Make sure that your employees read, understand and accept these terms.
Productivity: Employers are often concerned that social media use will have a negative impact on productivity. Studies show the opposite — that employees who use social media are more productive. Nonetheless, it should be clear where social media fits on the list of priorities.
Some positive and formal guidance will reinforce the fact that you trust your employees while empowering them to harness the power of social media to help your organization achieve its vision for the future.