why do we need a social media policy

But just as with those earlier policies some businesses and other organizations held out - refusing to commit the time to develop a policy. And just like those earlier instances some came to regret their tardiness. What percentage of businesses worldwide now have policies? According to a
79 percent of businesses have social media policies. that means 21 percent of businesses have yet to wake up to the need for one. Some organizations that do have policies have inadequate or outdated policies. So what should a good, current social media policy do? 8 Musts For a Social Media Policy Explain the new workplace reality: Many, if not most, employees consider their private and work lives separate, but social media has effectively erased that distinction. No matter how "walled-off" an individual's social accounts may seem to be ultimately someone, somewhere will tie that person to your organization. Therefore they need to understand that this means anything they post on social media or elsewhere online may reflect on them and the company. Protect your organization's reputation: A good social media policy spells out what is and is not appropriate for employees to post about their company on social networks. Generally, the policy will state that employees shouldn't write anything they wouldn't want splashed across the public media. This section may include the consequences of posting unflattering information about the organization. It will also remind employees that anything posted online - even posts marked as private - can, and will, be used against them and their employer. Raise awareness of your organization and what it does: The best social media policies have more "dos" than "don'ts. " They have clear guidelines to help employees understand ways they can use social media to help achieve business goals.


They also help employees reflect organizational values in their online behavior and explain the best kind of material to share on social media. Outline what's considered confidential or private information: Employees appreciate having clear guidelines about what the organization considers public information about its business and its employees. This section will also describe the consequences for sharing company secrets on social media. Spell out who in the organization is the official voice: Employees need to know who they should refer online questions about your organization to, so they don't answer themselves. This section designates a company spokesperson and the circumstances under which he or she must be the person answering questions on social media. Discuss the proper way to engage with others online: It may seem like stating the obvious but this section reminds employees that they should be polite and agreeable. If they must disagree with someone they should agree to disagree with others on social media because disagreements can quickly blow up and go viral. Educate and train employees: Show them what good social media can do for the organization. and the bad. Use real-life examples to show them what happens when people don't follow the rules and/or don't use common sense. This is the ounce of prevention that can get them to think before they click. Remove any confusion about legal issues: Clearly spell out which social media use in the workplace is acceptable and which is not. Explain the consequences of deviating from the rules and if that includes the "up to and including termination" language say it here. This is no time for equivocation. An up-to-date and active social media policy is as essential today as telephone and personal computer policies were in earlier times.


Until people have a lot of experience in social media they are going to make mistakes unless they get good guidance. the kind of guidance social media policies provide. What do you think? Is the social media policy where you work up to date and effective? In order to discuss Social Media Policy, letвs start with where social media began, with the internet. 17 years ago, 1% of the population were online. Now, over 2 billion people are surfing the internet and nearly all of those people have a social media profile, or several. There are currently over 200 social media sites, and I bet you can only name a few. The technical revolution is underway in this fast paced economy. Companies must recognise the need to adapt to the progress the internet is so rapidly making. Failure to keep up, results in major company casualties. Just look at Woolworths, Blockbusters, Kodak and Clinton Cards. If you learn anything, learn to keep up. I think sums it up quite well! With levels of engagement on social media only increasing and the way technology is developing, social media has become a part of your daily life. It is so easy to access the information you need and have the ability to connect with anyone in the world. This is now the norm. In fact some people reading this may have already checked their Facebook updates or Twitter homepage. This is great and even encouraged, but there are implications when it comes to social media in the workplace. In my opinion your employees should feel free to tweet and post about goings-on at work. Using personal accounts to talk about work should be encouraged. Whether they are at home revelling in the excitement of a deal well done, or they are at work having just received a shiny new deck of business cards, let your employees feel like they can share these experiences.


You can expect positivity online when you create a brand ethos that is right for everyone. Only then can you really encourage the use of social media at work and about work. Here are some interesting facts that prove that this is a good idea and is already happening: Workers who are encouraged to tweet, chat and like on the job are amongst the most productive (research from Warwick business school) Whatвs the worst that can happen when you let your colleagues write about your organisation on their social profiles? Unfortunately there are risks involved with making social media platforms a part of the workplace. Ideally youвd like to think your colleagues have the sense that whatever they say on social media affects the brand and in turn themselves. So being negative only backfires. В These three points are the foundation of a Social Media Policy (SMP). As idealistic as it is that everyone loves what theyвre doing and wants to tweet and post about how happy they are at work, itвs not going to be that way. But you can prevent this from happening by adopting a SMP. The SMP is a corporate code of conduct given to employees guiding them in their choices of what to post online in regards to work. The SMP will outline certain expectations of the company when it comes to behaviour, language, confidentiality and honesty. It is becoming a necessity to avoid putting your organisation at risk, so invest in training where possible to educate your workforce and make sure your SMP is positive and focusв on what your employees can do rather than what they canвt do. Finally, remind your colleagues that you are aware of their social presence and are watching their online actions.

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