FIVE GOOD REASONS FOR A SET OF SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES
Here you can find out why you should provide your workforce with guidelines for using social media.
Even though the term “guidelines“ regularly shows up online, not many people know exactly what it means – let alone why we need them for the use of social media. We’re here to help. Below you’ll find five arguments for compiling social-media guidelines.
But wait! Just what are social-media guidelines?
They are rules that employees should follow when they use any type of social media. Why, you ask? Because every employee is a (potential) interface to the Internet. Prior to the Internet, any gossip or information that employees swapped stayed in the workplace. But thanks to social media such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Xing, LinkedIn, and the like, information can now reach a broad audience nearly instantaneously. For this reason, social-media guidelines provide orientation about the content of posts and their form when people communicate on social media channels as employees of your company. That’s why you need them.
1. Your workforce can turn to your guidelines
Using LinkedIn or Xing every day is part of the job for salespeople. But people in other departments are likewise important voices in your company. They communicate with the outside world, and that can affect your company’s image. Take advantage of this! Straightforward guidelines make it easier for your employees to communicate using social media, and empower them to write about the world of work without going about it the wrong way.
2. Guidelines offer guidance on usage rights
Speaking of getting things wrong, people sometimes makes mistakes in a company context – preserving the trade and business secrets of your company, for instance. But there are also legal pitfalls. Your employees should know which video material and images are suitable for social media, and whether or not they may use them. The same applies to smears, insults, and similarly unlawful content. What’s more, your staff must observe third-party rights concerning products, trademarks, and individuals as well as the copyrights of any media used.
3. Guidelines prevent mistakes and damage
Not only do guidelines provide a sense of certainty and orientation; they also ensure that any information that the general public can access and discuss is good for the company. Along these lines, a set of guidelines will also define no-gos with respect to topics, wording, and the use of language that employees should avoid. Guidelines can also address the extent to which your employees can communicate on behalf of the company. Should they be allowed to make concrete promises about your business? If so, in which context?
4. Guidelines prevent social-media storms before they can form
We’ve all experienced it. Somebody on Facebook criticizes a brand that you like, a certain lifestyle, or perhaps your company. People who remain calm and write/do the right things can often keep the situation from escalating. You should therefore establish clear rules for handling criticism. You might also need to set up a unit that handles reports of inappropriate posts.
5. Guidelines reinforce company-wide objectives
Social-media guidelines embody a company’s targets and visions. Your employees will feel like a community once they know which content they can disseminate using which channels and in which manner. This enhances team spirit and your employees’ loyalty to the company.
Would you like to have customized social-media guidelines? Our TMC digital unit will gladly assist you.