With the staggering increase of social media usage, every business feels the need to be active on social platforms. Anything you or your team do
Social platforms will have a significant impact on your brand, so to ensure that you do not create a negative effect on the potential audience, you need to create social guidelines for everyone who works for you.
Whether it is your social media team, other employees or influencers, always create guidelines for specific platforms. It would be best if you also created social media guidelines for emergencies, crises, and guidelines that govern your brands’ activities.
Why do you need Social Media guidelines for your business?
Social media marketing creates an online presence of your business and generates more sales. But creating an online presence is not enough; you need to maintain your reputation. With social media marketing guidelines, companies can protect their brand reputation on all social media platforms.
The social media marketing guidelines you create for your business will inform stakeholders and employees types of content and pictures that can be published on your business account and types of content that should be avoided. By creating this instruction, you can define suitable as well as non-suitable stuff to share on different social media networks concerning your company.
With social media guidelines, you empower your employees to follow your brand values when using your social media account. This not only will empower your business reputation but will also stimulate employees’ commitment.
Before we get into the details, let’s know what the major benefits of social media guidelines for your business are:
- Social media marketing guidelines will help you in defining social media strategy and better your presence on these sites.
- It delivers the right information to the right person so that everyone can benefit from it.
- Helps you build healthy social media communities online
- It allows you to quickly respond in times of crisis and emergencies before things get out of control.
- Protect your team members from social harassment
- Encourage your team to engage positively on social media channels
- It protects your business from cybersecurity risk
Different ways of Creating Social Media Guidelines for your Business
Since you know the importance of social media guidelines, let’s jump into practical ways of creating social media guidelines.
Guidelines for Social media Team
For social media guidelines, you should consider the people who portray your business image, i.e. your social media team. This information will assist your business needs and will be of great benefit to the users engaging on your social channels.
Here are some points to should consider while creating guidelines for the social media team:
- The guideline should educate employees on different legal terms and their effects on your business if misused.
- Inform them about the global implication of improper online communication
- It should generate awareness about defamation
Guidelines for employees using personal profiles
Everyone these days is active on social media platforms and so are your employees. Social media activities of employees linked with your company can impact your social presence. And so several companies offer guidelines to employees for their personal and as well as professional profiles.
Social media guidelines for employees’ profiles should include information on what your company believes in, classified data that should not be published on digital platforms under any circumstances or form as such data may result in legal implications.
Benefits of creating social media guidelines for employees
- These guidelines can act as reminders for employees, alerting them about what is confidential information and what is not.
- It can alert them about legal ramifications of any form.
- It allows building a better social media marketing campaign.
Now when you are aware of different ways of social media guidelines for your business, let’s understand ‘what to include and what to avoid’ in your social media guidelines.
What to include in your social media guidelines?
Any post you or your team publish online represents your brand, and so it’s important to preach positivity on your channel. Most of the companies these days remind their staff as well as their audience to be kind on social media and take action against social media harassment.
Apart from that, it is also necessary to mention protocols for employees who face social media harassment, it’s especially needed when your company promotes social media usage.
Create policies on how to deal with trolls and bullies for all of your employees: mention every detail on how will you deal with it and what you want your employees to do- report, ignore, block or ban.
Also, educate your employee on how to report issues they experience or even see on social media channels. Tell them how they can receive support and how will your company in general deal with it.
In this digital era, cyber hacks and threats are not uncommon. Hence, it’s good to include cyber safety information in your social media guidelines. If you have your customer’s info, it’s required to protect it and assure them data security.
Here are some of the basic cyber safety tips that you can add in your social media guidelines:
- Limit the personal and professional information you share
- Create strong passwords
- Create different passwords for different social media platforms.
- Use different passwords for business accounts
- Do not click or download a suspicious content or post
- Browse safely
- Don’t unnecessarily activate your geolocation.
- Login into social networks with two-factor authentication
- For personal social media accounts use the personal credential
- Do not download or click on suspicious content
Any brand or employer should promote inclusivity not only for social media platforms but also in general. By the following inclusivity on social media platforms, you give your employees the assurance that you care about them.
Some of the major inclusivity points for social media include the following:
- Make use of inclusive pronouns, i.e. they, them, theirs, folks, and more. You can also share your personal pronouns.
- You must not make any assumption regarding gender, caste, race, locality or ability.
- Do not use gender-specific or race-specific emojis.
- Be creative and thoughtful when representing your brand
- Add descriptive captions for any image you post on your channel
One of the most important things you should teach your employee is to respect intellectual property and legalization. Remind employees to respect intellectual property, copyright, trademarks, and other relevant laws. A good rule of thumb is: If it’s not yours, and you don’t have permission, don’t post it.
Be Transparent with your Social Media Team
At present, maintaining transparency with social media teams is considered an excellent ethic for marketing. Research on social media shows that consumers avoid or stop working with companies that don’t maintain transparency. This indicates that there is an evident link between companies’ communication transparency on social channels and customer spending.
Thus, the more you maintain transparency on social channels, the more leads and sales you get. Statistics show that over 50% of consumers will prefer brands that are transparent on social sites for businesses.
Here are some important statistics to consider transparent businesses
- Over 86% of customers stop purchasing brands because of their lack of transparency on social sites.
- Over 85% of consumers give second chances to brands after experiencing social media transparency.
- In a time of crisis, customers are more likely to buy products for businesses that have a history of being transparent.
- Over 89% of consumers believe brands can build their trust by considering insights and staying transparent in resolving it.
This data clearly shows how transparency on social media can affect your business and empower or forbid your business. Hence, it’s important for you and your team to decide on what instructions to add before you create social media guidelines. And make sure to stay transparent on guidelines so that everyone can benefit from it, i.e. your business, staff members, existing as well as upcoming consumers.
Educate Employees on Social Media Guidelines
Now when you know what you can include and avoid in your social media guidelines. The next step is to discuss or educate your employees. In most of the cases, a member of a company’s social media team conveys the guidelines to help newly hired employees set up their channels relevant to their brand.
However, there are many creative approaches that you can opt to educate your employees on your company’s social media guidelines. Here are some of the approaches we find best suitable for imparting knowledge to employees.
Host Lunch and Learn
Hosting meetings over lunch can eliminate the boredom factor as it allows your team members to enjoy their lunch while you discuss important topics for your company’s social media channels. If your company has multiple offices, do a video conference. You can also record your discussion for the absent employees so it will save time and effort for future meetings.
Post social media office hours
Provide your employees with a safe place if they are unable to talk to you in meetings or feel hesitant to ask any question. This will enable you to build a resourceful social media team rather than brand police.
Send social media amplification emails
One of the optimal ways to share information with your team is to email your employees to share content you want them to set up. You can suggest text to busy employees so that they can quickly plug and play. However, you cannot totally depend upon internal emails because the average open rate of internal mail is only 63%.
Create a social media Slack channel
If your company works at slack, make sure you share your social media content there as well.
Use the company intranet
The intranet is an excellent tool for streamlining communication and making work more efficient. Use it as a hub for all your social resources and conveying social media policies.
Develop training videos
The Internet is now loaded with video resources; all you have to do is search for the right videos that can impart employees the information related to social media. Video content has a great impact.
What to avoid in your Social Media guidelines?
Avoid creating site-specific guidelines
Yes, every social media site is different and has different rules of publishing, however, you don’t create guidelines for specific sites. That’s because social media trends keep on changing. Sites like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram continuously add new features and change site interfaces.
If you create an instruction for a site, it can turn invalid or outdated over a period. So, instead of creating site-specific guidelines, focus on creating an extensive overview, reliable to all your social media sites where your brand is present.
This comprehensive guide should define the roles of all the members in your team who are active on social media platforms with a business profile or a personal profile.
Be clear about the things your employees can do and cannot do on social media sites. At the same time, make sure your team members feel that they are retrained.
Make sure that your employees understand the following factors
- The main purpose of the guidelines
- How to improve branding through social media
- Legal compliance and other vital information to motivate them to become brand advocates
This guideline provides in-depth details to your employees on what they must be doing to increase brand engagement and visibility on social channels.
Social media guidelines creation may seem to be a tiring job, but with the above-mentioned tips and pointers, you will be able to create efficient working guidelines for your company and your team.
Social media is now the best place to market and reach to your target audience. Social media guidelines not only help you in getting your target audience by increasing brand awareness but also empower positive work ethics.
See also: How do you count social media characters?