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Social media policy for business: What do you need to cover?

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Social media policy for business: What do you need to cover?

More and more people all over the world are using social media as part of their everyday lives. We’ve all browsed Facebook or LinkedIn in our spare time, but these tools are now vital to businesses too. Managers and business owners must educate their employees on the correct way to use social media for work, including establishing guidelines on how they want the business to be represented online.

This guide will help you to outline what your social media policy should cover and explore the two different types of policy, ensuring that you and your employees are ready to use social media effectively for business.

Different types of policy explained

United Carlton, who provide print management software for business, have identified two different types of social media policy – one for your employees and another for your business brand. These policies are similar in structure but targeted differently. It’s vital that any social media policy you have in place as a business is enforced with strict measures so that your company is never in a vulnerable position. We’re in a digital world that is constantly changing this is a good incentive for business owners to continuously review their policies and make any necessary changes that will continue to have the best interests of the company at heart.

Outlining the rules and regulations

Your employees need to be aware of how they should represent themselves online. On personal social media, if a person has tagged their workplace in their profile, and are not private, they are representing the company to the wider public. This means that you need to restrict the use of profanities and stay away from controversial topics that could impact the company.

Employees need to be made aware that some company information is confidential, and will need to be handled with care. Some information should not be discussed on social media.

Company social media accounts, such as the Facebook and Twitter page need to be handled with care, so it’s important to let employees know your guidelines for the brand. How do you want your company represented? This includes how you want your employees to respond to any mentions of your brand – whether these are positive or negative comments. It’s also important to outline how you want your staff to talk about your services or your products.

Outlining employee responsibilities

Of course, different types of social media platforms will come with different sets of responsibilities. These can vary depending on the platform, as each will have their own specific needs. Depending on the skillset and training you give to the teams on social media channels, you might require someone who can approve messages, deal with security and legal concerns and create content that will be posted. It’s important to outline who can and can’t use the social media channels in the business.

Managing the legal risks

Whatever your policy, you will need to make sure that you act according to any legal regulations and discuss any possible legal risks. When it comes to social media, you need to make sure that you’re crediting your source with any content you are using, an example of this would be repurposing an image for your own business gain. It also needs to be discussed about what can and can’t be shared – making sure that everything gets approved by a senior staff member.

When it comes to a personal account of an employee where they find themselves commenting on something that relates to your business, they must highlight that the views they publish are their own and not those of the company they are working for.

Managing your security

Unfortunately, as the world becomes increasingly digitalised, cyber security risks also become more of a problem. This means that companies must be aware and know how to handle any potential threats. To reduce the threat of phishing scams and even ransomware attacks companies must create secure passwords, avoid phishing emails, spam, scams and any malware threats and know how to respond in the event of a breach.

Employers must maintain trusted relationships with their employees and look into regularly reviewing their social media policy to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Doing so will ensure that your business can benefit from social media and is not negatively impacted.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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