For better or worse, social media has integrated itself with our daily lives. For many people, everything they consider notable gets logged on social media – and once it’s online, that post lives forever.
Learning to live with the ubiquity of social media means setting boundaries. For employers, those boundaries may look like social media guidelines for your team. Here’s what to consider while drafting these guidelines.
Policy versus Guidelines?
A policy sets rules, which the company then enforces. Guidelines, by contrast, function more like best practices. They hold your team to an aspirational standard, but no one metes out punishments for falling short.
Whether your team would benefit from guidelines or requires a policy, depends on your team’s culture and performance. Deciding which route to take, however, can help shape what goes into the final product.
Crafting Social Media Guidelines: A Quick-Start Guide
What should go into your social media guidelines? Start with these basics:
- Links to official company social media channels. Encourage employees to follow.
- Disclosure and transparency advice. When do employees need to state that they work for a particular employer? When do they need to state that their opinions are their own?
- Privacy protection and safety guidelines. How should workers distinguish between private and public information? What kind of online communication poses safety risks?
- Advice for handling harassment. Social media has a troll infestation. What should your team do when a troll appears in their comments?
Referring teams to the company’s style guides or inclusivity policies can also help team members build healthier social media communications.
Getting Your Team on Board
Once you’ve created social media guidelines, share them with your team. Focus on how these guidelines help team members be their best selves online. For instance, you may wish to emphasize one or more of these benefits:
- The guidelines help your team stay connected to each other and the company online.
- The guidelines provide help for team members who want to communicate online in a positive, healthy way.
- The guidelines help your team members find tools that can help them use social media more effectively.
- The guidelines can reduce instances of harassment online or even protect them from cybersecurity risks.
Drafting social media policies or any team guidelines requires attention to detail, balancing different perspectives, and respecting applicable laws and regulations. If you’re struggling to craft effective policies, reach out to Odell Studner today.