Social Media Policy

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  1. Role of Social media in a company

Social media is not used the same way in every company. For some, a strong use for social media is on promotion and consumer community development. However, many other large companies use social media to create a fun work culture amongst staff by using social media for internal purposes. And then within the internal and external options for using social media the possibilities are endless.

This is very exciting news for a company. However, for companies with a large amount of employees, or a few people who are working with or on social media, a social media policy is highly advised.

  1. Ethics based policy versus do’s and don’ts – Telstra Case Study.

There are various ways that a social media policy can be created. The main two though are a list of do’s and don’ts for workers to work by, or alternatively an ethics based policy. It is highly recommended by most social media specialists that businesses and companies take an ethics based approach to their social media policy.

Ethics based social media policies are beneficial for many reasons. One reason is that it makes social media more situations based. That is, you could write ‘don’t do this…’ within a social media policy, but what if down the track you need to do this as part of your social media marketing? Conversely, if someone makes a mistake on social media, you can assess the situation, as opposed to simply the one rule broken – allowing for more leniencies on smaller mistakes.

Ethics based social media policies also allow for a policy to adapt for a longer period of time. Ethics and values are not fads; they are ingrained in society for long periods of time, sometimes even permanently. As a result, talking in the social media policy about the ethics of using this space, regardless of the platform or technology that is being released, it is likely that all activity will still be covered under this plan.

The social media policy needs to cover workers usage of social media in both a work and personal scope. Work obviously to ensure that it is used appropriately in a way that reflects positively on the company and protects it form misuse. But the policy must also cover employees’ personal use of social media. Obviously, a company does not want to control everything that workers do outside of their employment conditions. However, employees need to understand the implications of what they post on their personal pages and how this impacts on the company. A social media policy is a great way to do this, especially if it is ethics based. This allows employees to still talk about the business but ensures that they are not promoting confidential information, or bad mouthing the business on a bad day.

Various things can be done to monitor your own activity online. Firstly, ensure that you understand the social media policy. This will stop you from making most big mistakes. Secondly, go back and look through your profile for any of these mistakes, to see if anything done in the past counts as breaching the social media policy. If so, it is unlikely that it will matter as it has been posted before the social media policy was put in place. However, if you are worried about this, then you can hide it from your feed. The main point of this exercise however, is to ensure that you can see which posts are and is not acceptable for an employee to post. This will help you assess future posts.

So how does community management fit in all this? Community Managers need to work within the policy on the business page, as this policy will guide how they speak to customers, why they take a certain approach to different tasks, and set out the parameters of their acceptable work and standards.