4 Social Media Policies For Small Business

Now that business and Social Media are getting closer, we need to find ways to introduce Social Media policies so that employees understand what is expected of them when working on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Social media policy template

4 Social Media Policy guidelines

To get your Social Media guidelines in place, follow these steps:

  1. Define your company philosophy – you need to organize sessions with the different heads and agree on how Social Media should be used in the company. For example, is it ok to use your phone to check into Facebook? Can you tweet while at work? Can you run a personal blog that mentions your products?
  2. Define Social Media – ask ten people what they think Social Media is and you’ll get ten different answers. You need to nail it and ensure that there is agreement on what Social Media is for your company and the benefits it offers. Failure to do this will result in confusion and mis-communication.
  3. Clarify how employees should interact on Social Media sites – make it clear how your staff are to introduce themselves, the company and your products. Do they use their real names? If they do – and then leave – is their online persona (avatar) retained or replaced by another person? Can they give their email address? If not, why? You want to use Social Media to improve communications. How far do you go? Can they post their (work) cell number?
  4. Can They Give Recommendations – on sites like LinkedIn, you can give recommendations to others. This is fine IF you know the person. But what happens if an employee recommends someone or some company and this is used by them to get work elsewhere. Unless your employees are allowed to give recommendations, then you need a policy that explains why this is not allowed.

These are four guidelines to get started with your Social Media policy documents.

What else would you add?

About the Author: Anna Guinness helps companies develop Social Media Policy documents for Facebook, Twitter and Blogs. You can download her Social Media Policy Templates here.