In an age where strong social media channels are a primary lead generation tool for your business, it’s important to put time and energy into ensuring an appropriate and consistent message is conveyed across your chosen platforms — whether that be via LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or all of the above.
In addition, as the workforce is an extension of your organisation, it makes sense that their own social media profiles are in-keeping with the brand’s tone of voice, and subsequent content positively endorses the company’s reputation. It helps to view every one of your staff members as a potential employee advocate.
The key to ensuring the right message is projected into cyber space is circulating clear and engaging social media guidelines — encouraging your colleagues to use their own voice, while remaining mindful of what is appropriate to put online for the world to see.
Such policies come in all forms and volumes, and there is no one size fits all approach to creating one for your business. Some employers choose to dedicate a small section within the company’s employee handbook to brief new starters on appropriate social media etiquette, whereas others opt to pen a more comprehensive, standalone document.
Want some pointers on where to begin? Read on for some vital top tips…
Make it on brand
Your ‘brand’ is something unique to your organisation and can be evidenced in both the internal and external communications of your entire workforce. If some sections of your social media policy use a casual and informal tone of voice while others are more conservative, your intended message can easily get lost and feel disjointed.
Try to use language which is consistent with the rest of your regular communications, and therefore much more likely to engage your team. Pepper in preferred phrases, popular greetings — and if you’re partial to a GIF or emoji, add them in too!
Not only will this allow everyone to connect with the policy, but it will help to convey the appropriate tone of voice for others to adopt in external communications — especially social media.
Link to other resources that the team may find useful throughout the guide. Use examples of strong social media channels for reference and explain what makes such posts so compelling.
Include quick ‘dos and don’ts’ and maybe even a ‘spot the difference’ quiz to highlight common mistakes. Invite readers to use their own initiative to select the right option – make it fun!
Where relevant, include links to other critical internal documents – such as employee agreements, privacy and HR policies, plus the company’s code of conduct – to help bring home your message of the importance of maintaining your digital presence.
Remember that the main purpose of a social media policy is to encourage a culture of learning and creativity within the company. After all, the last thing you want to do is deter your team from expressing themselves online.
Shining a spotlight on team members’ profiles or posts that have hit the target can give them that much-needed confidence boost. Sharing, retweeting, liking, or commenting on their content can also make employees feel valued — empowering them to keep delivering your brand’s messages to their personal networks.
As the world of social media continues to evolve, so should your policies. Encourage your team to regularly review the guidelines to ensure they stay relevant. Additionally, involve them when you are adapting the company document so that everyone is up to speed – and your business responds positively to the ever-changing digital landscape.
Although rules and regulations tend to take the excitement out of a task for some employees, if a company’s social media handbook is well-researched and developed in an interesting way, colleagues should believe in them – and feel empowered to use their own words in posts, as long as they’re in-keeping with the brand.
We hope we’ve provided some usual tips when it comes to forming your social media plan. If you’re still feeling a little daunted, get in touch with the Scriba team today to find out how we can help.