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The business guide to social media policy

For many of us, social media is typically thought of as something to enjoy in our spare time. With over 2 billion people across the world using social media on a daily basis, it’s clear that the digital age is in full swing in 2018. Social media can also be a highly effective business tool when used correctly, however, it’s important for companies to be aware of the rules and regulations in order to benefit from its use.

To help you understand the different types of social media policy, we’ve teamed up with print management software providers United Carlton to give you an in-depth guide to social media policy for your business.

The two types of policy

Employers should be made aware of the two separate types of social media policy. You’ll need two different social media policies for your business, one for the brand itself and one for your employees – although similar in structure, these are targeted differently. It is important for businesses to enforce their social media policy strictly to ensure that the company is never placed in a vulnerable position. It’s always wise for business owners to keep up with the ever-changing digital world by regularly reviewing their policies and making any adjustments that are necessary.

Your responsibilities explained

As an employer, it is your responsibility to outline the different roles and responsibilities across all of your social media accounts. Each platform will have their own needs, so this will vary accordingly. Depending on the level of training and experience within your social media teams, you may need to employ someone to approve posts, create content and deal with legal and security concerns. It’s also vital that you clearly explain who can and can’t use the company social media accounts.

Rules and regulations explained

This section will explain the business code of conduct and what your expectations should be for your employees in terms of the way that they conduct themselves on social media. If an employee has tagged their workplace as part of their public social media account, they effectively represent that company to a wider public audience. This means that some behaviours should be avoided, including controversial topics and the use of swear words as they could damage the reputation of the company.

It’s also key that you let employees know that certain company information should be kept confidential. This means that any workplace information should not be discussed on any of their personal-use social accounts.

It’s also a good idea to consider how you want your company to be represented online – this involves discussing brand guidelines. You should consider sow you want your employees to respond to brand mentions on social media – including positive or negative comments from other users in relation to your products or services.

Legal risks to be addressed

It is key that you follow all legal regulations and address any potential risks in your social media policy. When it comes to any sort of online content, you’ll need to include the relevant sources, for example, you should always credit a source when using images or articles for business purposes. Outlining what can and can’t be shared online is also important, which is why it’s a good idea to have everything approved by a senior member of staff.

There are certain guidelines that should be followed by employees when commenting on anything to do with the company online – they should take care to mention that any views expressed are their own and not those of the business.

Dealing with security risks

As digital means of communication become more and more vital for businesses, the potential for cyber threats increases. This means that businesses should know how to respond in the event of a security threat. Employees should create strong passwords for all of their accounts, and stay away from scam websites, malware, and spam emails. Employees should also be aware of the correct way to respond if a security breach were to occur.

Businesses should look into reviewing their social media policy regularly in order to maintain a trusted relationship with their staff and establish boundaries. Following the advice outlined in this guide will ensure that your business is not negatively impacted by any of the above risk factors and is able to thrive on social media.

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