Most businesses these days have a solid social media strategy in place. But how many consider how their own staff fit into this? And by this we mean actually give it some serious thought.

The ‘bury my head in the sand’ option is always available but definitely not one we’d advise. However, it’s surprising how many businesses happily overlook a social media policy for staff. Comforted by the fact that it’s never been a problem. But there is a big problem unfortunately. They’re putting their business at serious risk, legally, financially and even fatally.

Setting out some social media guidance for staff doesn’t have to be scary and it doesn’t mean spoiling the fun. A good policy will empower staff to use social networks in a powerful way. It will strengthen and amplify your brand and inject the all-important human side to your business operations.

Here are our top tips to get you started:

    • Work together with HR. Using social media should be a key part of your induction and exit processes. It should also be factored into any disciplinary policies.
    • Talk to your staff. Find out if they have any training needs, questions or ideas they want to contribute. Involving staff early on will help you develop relevant, and respected social media guidance.
    • Lead by example. Accountability and transparency are crucial to any business. Encourage your CEO to be visible and your ultimate online ambassador.
    • Encourage staff to have separate professional and personal social media accounts. Having clear boundaries from the start makes things much easier.
    • Don’t rely on disclaimers. If a member of staff has identified their place of work in their profile or username then this could be seen as representing the company. Statements such as ‘views are my own’ do not let you off the hook.
    • Be clear how your brand is consistently and effectively communicated across all staff accounts. Think about profile username and bios, tone of voice, photographs, use of logos etc
    • Remind staff that professional behaviour is the same online as it is offline. You trust and expect your staff to put their best foot forward when on the phone, or face to face. Therefore the same goes for online.
    • Reinforce data protection legislation and other legal requirements into social media practice.
    • Make it purposeful. Staff must have a professional social media account for a good reason. For example to interact with customers, influence your stakeholders or to share their expertise.
    • Help staff understand the commitment involved in maintaining a professional social media account. Inactive or badly managed social media accounts can reflect poorly on everyone.
    • Knit your internal and external communications strategies closely together. If the company has a big announcement to make involve your staff. Make sure your staff know when, where and how the organisation is releasing the news, and the role they will play.
    • DON’T panic if someone has made a mistake or been a little too hasty in hitting the send button. Delete, apologise and talk in-house about how it could be approached differently next time.

I hope this is useful and good luck with your social media guidance for staff.
If you have any further questions,

get in touch with Bare!