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Social media guidelines for your organization

Social Media Primer.

Social Media is commonly referred to as online communities that allow people to share content quickly, efficiently, and in real-time. They are primarily designed for mobile devices, (smartphones or tablets) given its digital forms of communication since it allows more interaction from a larger audience.

Effective use of social media can enhance a company’s image and make it more responsive to customers. Conversely, an employee’s careless post can ricochet around the world, wiping out years of brand equity faster than you can say “uh-oh.” 2013 IIA Global – Tone at the Top.

This article will cover key guidelines to main a healthy and productive social media/online presence, including; having a social media policy, recommendations when posting online, highlight a few social media benefits and shortfalls as well as discussing how to improve your communication with your customers. 

Onboarding Employees. –

New employees need to be familiarized with the Social media policy. During onboarding, new employees need to be aware of the company’s expectations for employee’s online behavior, including social media activities.

Social Media Policy. –

The social media policy should be a living document setting expectations for what is considered appropriate online behavior. This document should be updated on an ongoing basis according to changes in the market, the introduction of related laws and regulations, and industry incidents that might identify control weakness not previously contemplated. The policy should include employee education, postings guidelines, and instructions on how to proceed if challenges arise. Be as specific as possible when giving employees details and directions on how to participate in social media-related activities. Consider detailing restriction on sharing any business trade secrets or client contact information, while also authorizing other pieces of information, such as employee title and office phone number.

Inappropriate Content. –

All employees should stay away from posting materials that could put in question the company’s appropriate online behavior. These materials could include but might not be limited to;

  • Discriminating material

  • Nude or sensual photos

  • Posts with crude or graphic language

  • Religious or political information

Security Guidelines. –

It is important to establish security guidelines to secure and protect the company’s assets. Consider; 

  • Monitor your organization’s online presence

  • Explain the consequences of sharing sensitive information

Social Media Benefits. –

Social media allows employees to stay in touch with clients and allow customers to post feedback for the company to see. Some of the key benefits to be active in social media include; 

  • Builds Customer Loyalty

  • Efficient and Faster Communication

  • Creates a Bilateral Communications

Social Media Challenges. –

Employees can make inappropriate posts online that can be traced back to the company, creating a negative public reputation. If social media isn’t monitored or regulated in some way, it can cause serious consequences. Remember, once it is posted online, it is out there forever. Many social media users realize this too late instead of using good judgment when deciding to share online.

Listen to Your Customers. –

Your customers are a fantastic source of feedback and can help you measure your organization’s performance.  Customers love to share your brand with other people and social media allows them to do that. Below are key benefits of listing to your customers; 

  • Customers Provide Great Feedback 

  • Strong Customers Improve Your Brand

  • Feedback Improves Product Development

Recommendations when Posting Online. –

Sometimes employees forget they are at work or forget they are representing their companies when posting online, which can lead to inappropriate posts or information leaks. The following basic expectations can be implemented to guide employees on how to behave online when using social media at work. 

1) Always show respect to the audience

2) Stop and think before you post

3) Never discredit or talk bad about competitors

4) Act as you would in real life

5) Never post when you are angry

Overall, social media can be a great tool to grow your business and stay connected with customers. Just make sure you have the appropriate discipline to use it and set the right expectations from your employees. 

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