Writing Great Social Media Policy

Last Updated August 02, 2018

Unless you’ve been hiding away from the news (that’s understandable), you’ve heard about the damage irresponsible posting can do. Everyone from front-line workers to celebrities are losing their jobs and alienating people who once respected them. In the business world, pretty much everybody is using social platforms in one way or another, but 73% of companies don’t have a social media policy!

Protect your brand from controversy while empowering your staff with a great set of guidelines. After all, guides and event teams are uniquely placed to create amazing content to promote your experiences.

What’s in a social media policy?

At the end of the day, there are three goals:

  1. Set rules on how platforms can be used with regards to your company.
  2. Clarify how your employees can use personal accounts during work time.
  3. Protect yourself from legal issues and public relations controversies.

Many organizations start doing this work only after they’ve had an issue of some kind, so you’ll avoid plenty of headaches and upsets by thinking ahead.

Using company social profiles

Empowering your team to create content for you is truly invaluable. For small tour and activity companies, it’s also a budget friendly way to engage with guests directly. Now, you may trust your team completely, but defining the rules is vital.

Platform Best Use

Each of the networks you’re using offer different strengths. Twitter is wonderful for short posts and quick comments, while Facebook gives you the opportunity to share longer articles and create conversations. Instagram, certainly the platform younger users love, is all about visuals with photos and videos.

Be specific about what kind of content you’d like to see on each of the above, as well as any others you’re focusing on. We specify a goal of using ten hashtags on Instagram and Facebook, while using geotags wherever possible.  As a global company it’s important to us our users see our Partners are everywhere.

Each of our Instagram posts features our logo, but consider choosing a specific filter to use when posting. Creating consistent visuals is important for your brand!

Rules & Regulations

How you socialize online is a pretty important thing, right? By understanding what your company’s voice is, and how to use it, your team is best equipped to make great decisions.

  • Specify any of the specific branding guidelines you have that will be used online.
  • Should your team reply to comments on posts? If so, how would you like to handle negative or controversial posts made by guests?
  • Ensure important details about guests, staff, and operations are kept confidential.
  • Define if and how your team’s personal accounts can be used in conjunction with your brand, and during work hours.

Authorized Users

At EzTix, we specify which staff members are authorized to post directly on our accounts. These users have login and password details, but they’re also the contacts for others to submit material. During our first Instagram takeover, a Senior Partnerships Manager created a series of great stories and simply forwarded them to an authorized user. Easy, breezy.

Our policy also specifies which of these users are allowed to create additional accounts on the company’s behalf.

Using Social Media at work… for not work.

I mean… it’s gonna happen. Let’s be real. I checked a few Facebook pages on writing breaks.

Make two different sections for personal use during work time to lay out what’s cool, and what’s a no-go. For example, it may be ok to take Twitter breaks now and then, within reason, at the office. Perhaps you want your team to be allowed to see what your competition is up to.

This section also makes clear to your team you don’t want them sharing (or writing) controversial material while at work. It’s also wise to lay out what the consequences are for breaking the rules.

In our policy, we let our staff know who is in charge of enforcing the rules so they know who to ask about them. Any activities conducted on your company’s infrastructure can lead to legal liabilities, and your team should be aware of that.

In conclusion…

It’s a lot to think about, but it will only take a little bit of time to get a policy together. We all know common sense doesn’t always prevail online and nobody’s perfect. Writing down clear guidelines is the best way to protect yourself when a few key strokes can have massive, public ramifications.

In writing our social media policy, we looked a few different sources which were very helpful. Check them out!

How to Write a Social Media Policy – Hootsuite
Social Media Policy Template (And great examples) – Keyhole
How to Write a Social Media Policy – Inc.com

That’s just a shortlist, because there is a lot of great advice out there!

Happy policy writing 🙂

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