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The importance of a social media policy

Louis Cooper

Talent blog

Maintaining and evolving social media for business purposes can be complicated and challenging. SilverDoor’s Louis Cooper explains how important it is to implement a social media policy within your company

Let’s get to the crux of it. Why do companies need social media? Simply put, it can provide an outlet to connect with an audience and an opportunity to create conversations unlike the one-way interaction some webpages deliver. This can generate potential leads and convertible traffic to websites. The lines between personal and professional life are blurring and social media is the bridge between them both.

The main reason a business has a social media policy is because they want to prevent incidents of disrepute that may affect the perception of their business, such as the HMV scandal. Social media can not only harm a brand’s reputation but it can also enhance it – even through negative coverage. As a company’s social media grows it can become too much for one person and more people are required to take on the responsibility of maintaining the platforms and accounts. This is when a policy is required. If a company is to implement a social media policy, it should be clear on the employee’s personal social media account that there’s a disclaimer from personal opinion and that of the company. At SilverDoor, our social media policy includes using “all opinions are my own” as a disclaimer on personal/individual accounts. This ensures that any views that challenge our values and ethics aren’t representative of the company.

Tone of voice

A social media policy can provide a structure for your employees to follow when they’re posting on multiple platforms. Guidelines ensure that the content and the tone of your employee’s posts adhere to brand values. This can strengthen the image of the brand and improve marketing efforts, as well as keep a consistency throughout different social media channels. This should produce a clear and united message online, which will transpire in to the perception of the brand. SilverDoor uses advocates of the organisation to post regular industry updates and comments on topical news, so there’s always a strong, professional authority relaying relevant information to our audience. Approaching communication in this way, and provoking thought leadership, leads to an authoritative voice within our social media and within our sector.

A social media policy doesn’t always have to be stringent and boring. The way a company presents its policy can affect its acceptance and perception of expertise. A 50 page document of lengthy guidelines that are filled with corporate jargon won’t be received well. The Department of Justice Victoria  created an interesting video for their employees to learn its policy. So regardless of your company’s size or industry, it’s important your social media is regulated. It’s up to you how you present your policy, but just make sure you have one.

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