How to Create a Social Media Policy

Social Media Policy

As business owners, there never seems to be enough hours in a day to get all the tasks accomplished on our list. The never ending list of things that need our attention often requires us to “hand off” certain duties or task to our trusted employees. In most cases, social media is one of the duties handed off to a staff member “who knows all about social media.”

While that employee may know a lot about how social media works from an individual perspective, they more than likely have no idea how it works from a business perspective. That is where a Social Media Policy will come into place. A Social Media Policy is a document created by you regarding your brand standards, best practices, security, training, and enforcement.

To start your social media policy begin with an outline:

  1. Company Brand Standards/Guidelines – For example, the Bella V Marketing Logo can only be used as a single diamond logo with a red B or a diamond logo with the Bella V Marketing text written underneath it. No other variations or colors are acceptable.
  2. Approval Process for Social Posts – This section should outline who is going to approve the post and how they are going to approve them.
  3. How to Respond to Comments or Reviews – Here is excerpt from our policy
    “Be clear, but not defensive. Be polite and professional, especially when you disagree with someone. Once the words are out there, you can’t get them back. If you find yourself working too hard to defend your position, take a step back, let the community defend for you (because they will if you’re justified).”
    “Keep the conversations constructive. Please voice your opinions in a positive spirit. Any comments, posts, links, etc. that are not constructive or are deemed inappropriate should be deleted.”
  4. How to Handle Customer Service– Social Media is often one of the first places people will turn to if they have issues. This section of your Social Media Policy should list your CS protocols, so the same process is followed each time to maintain your standards.
  5. Legal Issues like Privacy and Disclosure– It is best to get a lawyer involved with this part of the policy if you do not have your privacy and disclosure policy already completed.
  6. Security Guidelines – Cyber Attacks, Malware, human error and account hacking are common in today’s world. This section should outline what to do if one of these occurs on your account. A few idea starts:
    How to create a secure password
    Do not share passwords. Set up a person as an editor or manager of your page. On Facebook, under settings, you will find Page Roles.
    What to do if an attack happens
    Who to call
    Standard Responses for different scenarios
    Privacy and Security Settings
  7. Rules and Regulations – In this section lay out your expectation of how the employee will engage on your social media accounts. This would be a great place to list topics you would like them to not engage in. Examples: Politics, Religion, or Gossip.
  8. Training – Plan time for your employees to get trained on the latest trends, social platform updates, etc.

The enforcement part of the Social Media Plan can be sprinkled throughout the other 8 points or it can be point number 9. This section should explain what will happen if your employee violates the Social Media policy.

I know this seems like a lot of work but it is worth it if you ever have a legal situation and helps protect your brand standards. Take the time and work through each step.

Here are a few examples I like:

University of Michigan

NYC Department of Education Social Media Guidelines

Social Media Governance

Let's be Social

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