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When a company starts using social media platforms to promote its company, it has the potential to gain new customers and supporters. However, the use of social media needs to be planned and the company needs to develop guidelines that will build the image of your company in the social environment.
Guidelines for using social media are a plan to protect a company's reputation and social media environment and to portray the company in a positive light. It consists of points that should be followed by each employee who is tasked with monitoring the company's social media profiles. Such a plan helps to train employees to work with social media platforms faster in the event of a change of employees.
When creating guidelines for using social media, keep the following points in mind:
- Company accounts and employees' personal social media platform accounts tend to be linked. When your employee links their profile to a social media profile (for example, as an employee) or employee names and images are available on your website that allow them to be found on social sites, the company is publicly associated with that employee, which can damage the company's reputation. Of course, you can't restrict your employees 'privacy and freedom of speech, but you can make a point in the guidelines for using social media that employees' social media profiles that could damage a company's reputation will be evaluated (for example, if you run a non-profit organization for victims of violence, an employee who owns a blog about violence can significantly damage your organization’s reputation).
- Problem solving within the company. The guidelines should state that any problems of the company are first discussed only within the company, a communication plan is developed and only then these problems can be publicly reflected on the basis of the communication plan. In the event of problems, employees must not hide them, but must inform management.
- Other company guidelines and regulations also apply to social media usage guidelines. Employees should note that the company's internal rules apply to the use of social platforms.
- Information protection. Any information about customers must be strictly protected, even if not provided for in the contract between the company and the customer, unless otherwise agreed (eg inclusion of work performed in a portfolio). Similarly, disclosure of a company's financial data, plans and strategies is prohibited unless the information to be disclosed is specifically specified (eg, expansion of the company, etc.).
- Appropriate content. The guidelines should indicate what content created by employees is considered appropriate (language, topics, etc.). Defamation of competitors or your business is not allowed.
- Employee liability. The guidelines should state and employees should understand that the content they create can have an impact on the company's image. Explain that employees are responsible for any content they create that may negatively impact the company's name. For example, if you own a restaurant, but one of the employees posts unsatisfactory information about the restaurant's customers on social media.
- Understand the goals and tasks of social media. Explain exactly what your company wants to achieve in a social environment. Explain to your employees what their tasks are, how important each employee's contribution and responsibilities are in the social environment. Your employees need to understand the purpose of using social media.
- Trust, openness and oversight. Your company's employees should not feel restricted in working with social portals. Entrust them to create content that meets the company's goals and does not damage the reputation. However, it is important to evaluate the content you create, making sure that the information provided positively reflects your business and meets the guidelines and quality requirements of the business. Let employees understand that management will oversee the use of social media.
- The purpose of these guidelines is to protect your business from undermining your business name in the event of misuse of social media. At the same time, you need to show that you trust your employees and their ability to create content that positively portrays your business.