Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have become everyday staples for most people – we all like to browse social media in our spare time, but these platforms are also extremely useful tools for business.
Training providers and Colleges should therefore take the time to inform their employees about good social media practice and give some thought as to how they want their business to be portrayed online.
To help you understand what you need to cover in your social media policy, we’ve assembled this handy guide covering all of your responsibilities, as well as the rules and legal risks.
Two types of policy
Print management software providers United Carlton have determined that there are two separate types of social media policy to consider, these are:
- One policy for the business and brand.
- One policy for your employees.
Although these policies are structured similarly, they are targeted differently. It’s vital that any social media policy you have in place as a business is enforced with strict measures so that your company is never in a vulnerable position. We’re in a digital world that is constantly changing this is a good incentive for business owners to continuously review their policies and make any necessary changes that will continue to have the best interests of the company at heart.
Defining the rules
One of the most important factors to consider when deciding what your social media policy should include is how your employees represent themselves and the business online. On personal social media, if a person has tagged their workplace in their profile, and are not private, they are representing the company to the wider public. This means that you need to restrict the use of profanities and stay away from controversial topics that could impact the company.
Certain company information is likely to be of a confidential nature and will need to be managed carefully – such information should not be shared or discussed on social platforms. Company social media accounts, such as the Facebook and Twitter page need to be handled with care, so it’s important to let employees know your guidelines for the brand. How do you want your company represented? This includes how you want your employees to respond to any mentions of your brand – whether these are positive or negative comments. It’s also important to outline how you want your staff to talk about your services or your products.
There are different responsibilities to consider depending on the social media platform that you are using – these will likely vary, as each site will have their own rules and requirements. Depending on the skillset and training you give to the teams on social media channels, you might require someone who can approve messages, deal with security and legal concerns and create content that will be posted. It’s important to outline who can and can’t use the social media channels in the business.
Discussing the legal risks
It’s necessary to act in line with legal protocol and discuss any potential legal risks in your social media policy. You need to make sure that you’re crediting your source with any content you are using, an example of this would be repurposing an image for your own business gain. It also needs to be discussed about what can and can’t be shared – making sure that everything gets approved by a senior staff member. When it comes to a personal account of an employee where they find themselves commenting on something that relates to your business, they must highlight that the views they publish are their own and not those of the company they are working for.
Potential security risks
Cyber security is unfortunately becoming a bigger issue as the world becomes more digitally focused. This means that companies must be aware and know how to handle any potential threats. To reduce the threat of phishing scams and even ransomware attacks companies must create secure passwords, avoid phishing emails, spam, scams and any malware threats and know how to respond in the event of a breach. Employers must maintain trusted relationships with their employees and look into regularly reviewing their social media policy to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Doing so will ensure that your business can benefit from social media and is not negatively impacted.