Despite widespread use and media buzz regarding social media, a recent post in Fast Company Expert Blog cites (from a global study of 34,000 businesses) that 3/4 of employees reveal their company has no formal social media policy, even though 63% of employers who had such a policy in place have reported increased productivity. These are the opening facts to a thoughtful and salient discussion by Brian Solis on The Rules of Social Media Engagement.
Solis discusses the need for special training and preparation in a field often relegated to those younger and less experienced in an organization – and these so-called “Twinterns” are often unprepared for the sometimes hostile and explosive aspect of social media engagement. Similarly, the most popular version of organizational policy in social media is considered the use of “common sense” – a term so subjective, there is rarely any commonality to be found.
It is paramount that every company, regardless of size, industry, or location, immediately draft and circulate guidelines and policies — whether or not social media is practiced officially or unofficially within the organization… It’s our responsibility to contribute to the increase of a significant, tuned, and strategic signal over noise.
Solis has thus curated The Top 25 Best Practices for Drafting Policies and Guidelines for companies considering their policies.
Some key takeaways include:
- Define a voice and persona representative of the brand’s purpose, mission, and characteristics
- Add value to each engagement — contribute to the stature and legacy of the brand
- Business accounts are no place to share personal views unless they reinforce the brand values and are done according to the guidelines and code of conduct
- Know and operate within the boundaries defined, doing so protects you, the company, and the people with whom you’re hoping to connect
- Stay on message, on point and on track with the goals of your role and its impact to the real world business in which you contribute
- Don’t trash competition, spotlight points of differentiation and value
- Take accountability for your actions and offer no excuses
- Disclose relationships, representation, affiliation and intentions
- What you share can and will be used against you — The internet as a long memory
Read the full list and article by Brian Solis.