Originally posted by Financial Social Media.
By Amy McIlwain.
Whenever I advise my clients to create a social media policy, they always respond with: okay, but what should it say? I understand because that was my first question when I first discovered the importance of a social media policy too. What should your social media policy include? How do you even get started?
There are several different approaches you can take when creating a social media policy. Aim to make the policy specific and relevant to your firm. Also make sure it coincides with your compliance regulations. Here are a few simple steps to get you started in writing process.
First, address the purpose of social media: Why is your business using social media? Why are you crafting a social media policy? What should the reader/user take away after reading the policy? These are all important questions that need to be addressed in the introduction of your policy. In essence, you need to set the stage and make sure everyone is clear on the “why’s”.
Define “social media”: Next is the “what”. What is social media? What social media platforms is your business a part of? Once again, this is important for laying the groundwork of your social media policy. Assume your readers aren’t versed in social media.
Personal Websites: Before you delve into the social media best practices of your business, establish guidelines for how employees (who identify themselves as an employee of your firm) should conduct and present themselves on their personal pages. In light of the assumption that employees are speaking on behalf of the organization, ensure that their communications are transparent, ethical and accurate. Also establish guidelines for how employees should engage with clients.
Sharlyn Lauby of Mashable suggests “focusing on things that employees can rather than what they can’t do.” Why? Because social media is about leveraging the positive.
When creating this information remember the three S’s of social media policies
Protocols for crisis situations: Many companies fail to include this element in their social media policy. Let’s face it: people are fallible—and it’s better to prepare for crisis situations than get caught empty handed in a storm. The NatWest situation in the UK is a case-in-point example of why you should have a protocol for crisis situations.
If you have any questions about social media policies, don’t hesitate to ask.