Looking for a way to establish a strong, genuine connection with your target market? If so, you can't beat social media. Consumers today want to do business with authentic, approachable organizations. Social media allows you to invite your audience "behind the curtain" to see what your organization is really like. That openness builds trust, and trust can help you turn curious prospects into loyal customers. However, at our Denver marketing firm, we remind clients that social media platforms also have the potential for misuse. That's why we stress that if you implement a social media strategy, you must also implement a social media use policy.
The Right Amount of Oversight
Part of what makes social media content so effective is that it is fresh and spontaneous. So, it’s important that your social media policy provides framework without being too restrictive. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Address the obvious. You would hope that people on your staff would know not to post anything even remotely offensive, indecent, or inflammatory on your accounts, but it’s important that you spell that out in your policy nevertheless.
- Cover company and personal aspects. The primary focus of your policy is the use of company accounts. However, you should express your expectations about how/if staff members are to mention the organization on their personal accounts. They are, of course, free to say anything they like through their own accounts, but they should understand the potential ramifications.
- Be careful about how you mention the “property” of other companies. Your marketing team may want to post about others in your industry (partners, competitors, etc.), and in many instances that’s just fine. However, your staff should steer clear of any mention that might involve intellectual property or copyright issues.
- Take external regulations into account. In many industries, there are rules on what kinds of information can be made public. For example, at our Denver marketing firm we work with mental health clients. In that industry, there are strict privacy rules to protect patients. So, be sure that your policy makes these kinds of situations very clear.
- Talk with your lawyer. Ideally, you should have your completed policy reviewed by an attorney who is familiar with the law around corporate communication.
- Educate your staff and get sign-off. You should explain your social media policy to everyone on your staff, even those who may never have access to your accounts. After giving them a chance to review the policy, you should get a signed form from them saying they understand it.
- Review the policy regularly. The social media landscape is constantly shifting. Consequently, it’s critical that you review your policy at least annually to ensure it is still accurate.
Leveraging Social Media Wisely
At our full-service Denver marketing firm, we understand the awesome power — and associated responsibility — of social media. If you have questions about how to use social effectively, contact us today!