Embracing Social Media – What’s Your Social Media Policy?

Recently I have been speaking to several colleagues who work at firms that have strict controls on social media usage. These employees work in highly regulated markets with firms that see social media only in terms of its potential legal/regulatory risks. Management’s myopic view of social media leaves them at a serious disadvantage vs. their competitors who embrace the power of social media. Framing social media as simply a threat is misunderstanding the entire potential and power of embracing social software. Our world has changed and people have embraced social media in nearly every form as the way they consume information, communicate and connect. Failing to see the opportunity to connect with customers/clients where they are and in a method of their choosing is the digital equivalent of burying ones head in the sand. A better course of action would be to do the following 3 steps:

  1. Create a Social Media Plan
    All organizations should have a social media plan. It is like a guidebook for your social media act ivies that keeps you on track. Much like your business plan, a social media plan keeps you on track with using this powerful medium while helping you measure your effectivity vs. your desired outcomes.
  2. Create a Social Media Policy
    Policies are powerful tool to keep your people and processes in alignment. Educating your employees on proper usage of social media can be an important asset. Almost daily we hear of employees improperly using social media in ways that weaken the credibility of your organization, violate regulatory requirements or simply damage your brand. Again, these are the very thing that can be mitigated by creating a social media policy.
  3. Training Your Users
    Training can be used to bring your employees up to par with your social media plans and policy. Employees should be aware of what they can and cannot engage in and the clear consequences of violating policies to the firm. Arming them with the knowledge to properly engage will greatly positively impact your potential in the world of social media.

A better course of action on the issue would be drawing up a clear social media plan and social media usage policy while embracing the potential of the media. We don’t usually throw the baby out with the bath water – so why then social media? Try looking at these social media issues from this new angle and your visage of the social media landscape may change.

4 thoughts on “Embracing Social Media – What’s Your Social Media Policy?”

  1. Antonio Wheeler

    I think that it is a good idea to create a social media plan, as it allows you to find your way back on track when other things attempt to bring you off course.I often find with the amount of different things that I need to take care of in my business, that I tend to forget about some of the other crucial aspects such as my social media.

    1. Right you are! Social media shouldn’t be an afterthought but a primary part of how you Market and connect with consumers. It is a huge loss when organization don’t tap into social media. Thanks for your comments!

  2. The amount of people who think that what they say on social media sites will not affect their everyday lives is appalling. Without fully explaining the situation to your workers they seem to forget that real people read and judge you on what you say regardless of whether it is online or not. I know of some employees who have accidentally posted information through social medias, which caused the company they worked for to lose valuable credibility as a result.

    1. Sadly, I have to agree with you that this problem even exists. Not only do more organizations not have a social media policy but they also don’t train their employees how to use it properly. As you highlight this can have very real world consequences to the individual and the companies they work for. A social media policy coupled with training is a sound investment. Thanks for your comment and keep them coming. =)

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