Are you using social media properly? Like all things online, social media can backfire if you don’t use it the right way. Reputations can be lost, brands can be burned and marketing campaigns can be ruined, even just a single misplaced tweet.
What you need is a set of guidelines that will help your company leverage social to its advantage while avoiding its pitfalls. To help you in creating your own social media guidelines, I’ve gathered the best ones and distilled the core values within them. Use these values in crafting policies for your own workplace.
BE ETHICAL: It’s not enough to follow the law; you also need to be morally in the right. Everything you put is public and permanent, so act accordingly.
- Keep in mind your company’s code of conduct
- Always use your best judgment before responding online.
BE RESPECTFUL: Conduct yourself online the same way you would in the real world.
- Avoid negative comments about other people or companies.
- Don’t put your employer in a bad light.
BE PRODUCTIVE: Add to the conversation, not the other way around.
- Share important news and information that people need to know.
- Remember that before social media, your job comes first.
BE TRANSPARENT: Disclose your affiliations to gain trust and respect.
- State your affiliations and add disclaimers, if needed.
- Use “me” and “I” to show that this is your personal opinion, not that of your company.
BE HUMBLE: It’s been said that if you put yourself last, you will be first. This applies pretty well in social media.
- Be the first to admit and correct mistakes.
- Don’t overstep your bounds.
BE FACTUAL: Increase your credibility and respect by stating only verifiable facts.
- Back up statements with proof.
- Don’t speculate on company plans or reveal confidential info.
If you want to browse actual social media policies, check out the ones compiled by this site which includes those from BT, Reuters and the UK Government itself.