Social media is a great way to engage with customers and employees, rather than simply ‘talk at’ them. But there are many pitfalls.
A thought-provoking event at IABC last November got me reflecting further on this topic and ways to avoid some of the common pitfalls. One of these is to have a social media policy.
Even if social media is not yet in your communications plan, it’s still worth thinking about your policy. Even though you might not be using social media, your employees most likely are. And if they talking about your company on Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs or Twitter, do you have any guidelines they should be following?
To get you started, here are some ingredients that could go into any social media policy:
- Always be polite and professional. Expect the same in return.
- Always be truthful. Should you post incorrect information, admit the error and provide the correct information as and when it becomes available
- Never post confidential information about your company or clients. If this prevents you from responding in detail to a comment or post, explain that it’s due to reasons of confidentiality and that you will respond as quickly as possible. Or use another channel to follow-up.
- Do not delete negative comments or posts unless they are offensive, defamatory, inappropriate or obvious spam. If you do delete a post, clearly indicate why it was deleted.
- Provide links to relevant material available on other blogs and websites. Disclose any sources through credits, links and trackbacks unless the source has requested anonymity.