Social Media PolicyIs your company trying to decide what kind of social media policy to follow? You’re not alone.

As companies harness the power of social media, it’s important to have a policy in place to support and protect the integrity and reputation of the company.

So here are some tips to incorporate in your social media policy.

Build a team.

Having a team that handles your company’s social media strategy is important. It cannot be done by one person alone. With a proper team in place, it will be easier to make sure risky areas and topics are managed properly. In addition to staff members, other team members you should include on your team can include the CEO, HR director, IT director, marketing director, and maybe a lawyer specializing in social media.

Create a culture.

Creating a culture around your social media policy facilitates idea sharing, problem-solving, and creativity. Social media is ever-changing, so your policy needs to be ready for changes. This takes proper training, frequent meetings, addressing problems and challenges that arise. So when writing your policy, foster an environment and culture of learning and evaluation, acknowledging your policy values consistency, transparency, and emphasizing training, support, and evaluation.

Consider legalities.

This is where a social media lawyer comes in handy. Because social media takes place online, there are different protections for employees. Communicate policies and policy changes to your lawyer ensuring there won’t be any repercussions from employees.

Have two policies.

To help with the legality end of things, create two policies — one for when employees are at work and one for when they’re not at work. The job-related policy should cover things like job-related activities, roles, and responsibilities, branding guidelines, and should be clear on what policies should be complied with and when.

The second policy should focus on the expectations of employees when they use social media in their personal lives. It should be clear on what employees are and are not allowed to say about your company on their personal sites. Typically forbidden items include client information, trade secrets, and more. Consult with your lawyer while writing this bit of your policy.

Focus on the big picture.

As said before, the social media landscape changes daily. Don’t focus your policy on only one social media outlet, like Facebook, because they’ll eventually be out of date. Stay focused on the bigger picture by deciding the roles and responsibilities in the policy, a general overview of what can and cannot be done, and why the company has the social media policy. This helps your team stay on track, no matter what social media platform is addressed.

Provide training.

Set up training sessions once your new social media policy is established. Give them the guidelines, and reinforce Internet safety practices for good measure. This helps prevent social media mishaps and protects your company’s online reputation.

Keep it relevant.

Review the policy often, about every six months or so should work. Ask if each item is still relevant? Does it help us do our jobs? Have any legal issues changed? Has the social media environment changed? Keeping your policy relevant helps your company’s online reputation ensuring your company doesn’t hit legal problems.

 

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.