Giving a member of, or members of your team the reins to your company’s social media accounts is significant responsibility. To deliver this role effectively the individuals need to be skilled in customer services, marketing and if they’re going to be creative with how they deliver it, a bit of technical know-how wouldn’t go amiss either. At the very least though, if they’re simply going to be tweeting or updating Facebook on your behalf then they need to be pretty clear and what you want to say as a brand and what is right for this channel and what’s not.
The inherent danger of social media is that it is just that, social, chatty, informal, which when used well can be a real benefit to your business, but when used poorly or inappropriately is the same as a press release or a phone conversation with a customer. So you might think then that we need a pretty hefty set of guidelines to manage this then… not if you want it used you don’t.
I’ve seen it, 20 pages of guidelines on usage, tone of communication and a manual for getting started. The end result…, no one uses social media and a key communication channel is lost
Setting some pretty clear social media guidelines that encourage use of social media by your staff, but which clearly indicate the standards by which it’s used are needed.
So what areas should you consider when setting social media guidelines for your staff?
- What channels will you be using – It pays to be clear about where we will and won’t be operating on social media and why
- What is the purpose of using each of these channels – This may seem obvious, but social media is used in different ways by different organisations and we want to be clear about what we’re trying to get out of our social media usage
- How should we talk on social media – This doesn’t want to be marketing guidelines, but rather a clear statement as to what the tone should be, and perhaps an example
- Are there any significant DON’TS – Better ti be clear what we don’t do on social media – swearing might seem an obvious one here
There are plenty of other areas you may want to cover but this gets you started, and one final thing to consider is, do you have one overarching guideline that the rest all fit into…, for example “in everything we do on social media, we should enhance the company’s reputation”