Why your company needs a social media policy
Indulge us, if you will, with this little scenario: One morning you open your Outlook to find your inbox full of emails from friends, colleagues and clients who are shocked and outraged about a comment one of your employees made on an industry blog. The employee, it turns out, inadvertently revealed details about a client’s confidential project and impeding product launch. Yikes!
This, my friends, is the exact reason why it’s so important for companies to develop a social media policy. Even if you, or your company, don’t have a social media presence, chances are your employees do. If you’ve ever pondered whether it’s necessary to develop these types of policies, the answer is a resounding YES!
- Your employees are already talking online. Yup, that’s right. They’re probably out there this very moment. This presents a great opportunity for you to encourage them to talk about their professional life and your brand. At the same time, it’s important to remind them to represent your brand and protect your company’s and client’s privacy. The framework for this is your social media policy.
- Social media use inside a company requires education. There is a learning curve associated with social media like there is with any other new tool. If you don’t tell your employees what is unacceptable or acceptable to share online, they will never know. The only way to overcome this challenge is education.
- It helps protect your company. If an employee sends a public message through a social website that in some way violates an existing contract, in some cases the company, not the employee, may be the responsible party. That is why a social media policy, if properly established, can also help protect your company and your brand.
If the thought of creating these types of policies sound daunting, fear not. We’ve put together a list of 10 social media policy examples from large corporations across the country. We figured these will give you a head start:
- Coca Cola
- Thomson Reuters
- Wells Fargo