Employee AdvocacyEmployee Influencers

How to Create an ‘Employee-Ready’ Social Media Policy [Podcast]

By 20/07/2022 August 11th, 2022 No Comments
How to Create an ‘Employee-Ready’ Social Media Policy | DSMN8

[Episode Nine of ‘The Employee Advocacy and Influence Podcast] 🎧👇

Empower your employees like NEVER before!

Organizations all over the world in every sector are driving strategic competitive advantage by scaling the impact of their employees’ voices… and now YOU can too! As we delve beyond the why and get straight to the how so that you can put employee-driven growth at the heart of your organization.

Hosted by employee advocacy practitioner and CEO of DSMN8, Bradley Keenan.

[Transcript]

Welcome to episode number nine of the Employee Advocacy and Influence Podcast. My name is Bradley Keenan and I’m the Founder and CEO of the Employee Advocacy Platform – DSMN8.

In today’s episode, we are going to be talking about creating a social media policy.

How to Create an ‘Employee-Ready’ Social Media Policy

When DSMN8 first started selling its product, we would often hear people say to us that had a social media policy document and that policy was pretty simple back then it was really you’re not allowed to share content on social media.

While some companies were encouraging their employees to be more active on social back then, most people were saying, quite simply, that they don’t want people doing it.

As more companies are now encouraging their employees to be more active on social, there’s the need to have a social media policy document.

And really, the reason why that is so important is that it’s not about creating some 45-page document that talks about all the rules and ways to not share on social. But it’s there really to empower people and to give them a framework that they can use, so when they share on social they do it in a way that not only works for the individual but also protects the brand and the brand reputation of the company.

55% of Employees have NO idea!

A recent survey showed that 55% of employees have no idea of what their company’s social media policy is and 52% of people say that social media guidelines are not part of their employee onboarding experience.

So you can see why there is some confusion around what is allowed and isn’t allowed in most organisations.

If you’re launching an Employee Advocacy program, one of the big challenges that you need to tackle head-on is moving people from this state of mind that they will be sacked if they share content on social media to moving them to actually, this is a behaviour that we want to recognise and potentially even reward.

Your Employee-Ready Social Media Policy MUST include:

So what I wanted to do in this podcast was just address a few of the key things that definitely need to go into a social media policy document and what I’ll also do is include links in the footnotes of the show. I’ll even put some examples of companies that have created their own social media policies, so you can use them as inspiration. We’ll also include a template that we’ve created, as a guideline and so as well as this podcast, you can also use that template to start to create your own social media policy document.

So here are just five examples of things that you should really consider including in your social media policy document.

Let’s start with the considerations around confidentiality.

So an employee could create some really great employee-generated content that they think is safe. But actually would create conflict for you in your own organisation. So an example of that would be, let’s say an employee is visiting a client’s office they have a really amazing lobby in their office and there’s something that they consider to be social media worthy. So they take a picture of themselves inside the office and post it on LinkedIn.

Now, that might be innocent from their perspective, but it could highlight a relationship between your company and the client and could actually cause quite serious legal troubles that that’s been posted. So confidentiality around clients, but also highlighting confidentiality with coworkers because unless somebody has permission to post an image or video of one of their coworkers. They shouldn’t necessarily be posting that on LinkedIn.

So confidentiality is probably the first consideration when you create a social media policy document.

The next thing to include would be highlighting what the code of conduct would be on social.

The code of conduct could be things like the obvious things like bullying and negative content put out there, things you’re not allowed to say, language used. But also, it can be how to respond to people when there’s when there is conflict. So, often on social when you post something other people will use that post to essentially, hijack your following by creating maybe a response that is contrary in some way.

It’s something I get quite regularly where I’ll post something with an opinion around Employee Advocacy and then someone will jump on and give me the exact opposite view because it helps them generate their own following and it’s sometimes tempting to enter into a battle with them, but really you have to have some guidelines around taking a step back and just accepting that some people would disagree and not entering into conflicts.

Because everything on social can be screenshot and saved and if your employees are seen to be battling with competitors or people who have adverse opinions of them, then that doesn’t represent well for your brand and is definitely something that you want to avoid.

Support Your Employee Advocates

So as much as the media policy is there to protect the brand, it should also be there to essentially serve the individual so they have a support network.

So when they want to become more active on social, they have the ability to do so knowing that they have the support of the company they work for.

Something that’s really valuable to add is having contact details for people in your organisation where they can seek support from and that might be something as simple as training documents, it could be links to external videos where there are, you know, best practices that they can watch. But it could just be contact details for the social media team.

So should there be any issues from their content posting that they’re able to seek support in a timely manner?

Clearly, the last thing that you want as a company is for an employee to post something, and maybe they do attract some negative sentiment from the content they’ve posted and they don’t know how to alert you as a social media team.

The Checklist for Employee Success

So as well as the content that you share, you also want to make sure that people’s profiles are set up in a way that reflects well on them and also the organisation. So having a checklist for success for their profiles would be hugely helpful, and that could be how to take a great profile picture, you may also have a standardised company header that people use for like ten, but giving someone that checklist to go through so they know that when they post content that their profile is essentially doing a good job for them.

Naturally, some people may be really new to social and there may be questions that many people are going to have. Creating some kind of FAQ section in your policy document will allow you to pre-empt those questions and essentially reduce the impact on your team, where people are going to be coming to you asking the same question over and over again.

As I said before, the idea of this isn’t to create some huge document which is there to control people. The document really should be there to enable people to become more active on social and essentially become Ambassadors for your company.

So thank you for taking the time to listen to this episode of our podcast. As always, we’ll add some additional resources to the footnotes of the show, and that will include the guideline document I mentioned earlier that you can use our template to create your own policy document.

Contact details for me will also be available in the footnotes of the show. But as always, please feel free to get in touch with me on LinkedIn.

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