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Social media guidelines. Why do we need them?

Many businesses use social media as a means to celebrate company culture and keep in touch with their clients. They are also using these platforms to enhance their brand image and promote goods and services. Having a comprehensive social media policy in place sets posting guidelines, outlines best practices and gives training tips for your employees to protect both them and your company.

Without one, you run the risk of being exposed to harmful behaviour, having messaging in the marketplace that is off brand, and even being hacked or phished as a result of a team member incorrectly utilising the social space.

Private and work life blurred.

It used to be that our personal and business personas were quite separate. This is no longer the case as social media has all but erased this distinction. Employees must be made aware that anything they post online, in any context, could and most likely will reflect back on your business.

Clarifying the voice

“The opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.” Using simple statements like this, can help to define the work + life overlap, making it clear who we are representing — the company or ourselves.

Respecting boundaries

A big ‘no no’, is taking workplace conflicts online. If there is an issue to be resolved in the office, it must never make its way on to social media. Dealt with face to face the problem can be resolved and controlled. Online, it can spiral out of control like a wild fire, and expose people to cyberbullying.

Setting examples

A comprehensive social media policy will include examples of good and bad online behaviour. These guides help employees to get a clear idea of where to draw the line and how best to utilise social media as individuals and also as representatives of your business.

If you don’t have a social media policy or it’s been a while since you updated your existing one, we’d recommend creating a document to share with your team. Setting guidelines in place, ensures your company's representation across online conversations will be positive and in accordance with the brand image you wish to portray.