If you’re on social media for the long haul, then you’ll need to stock up on social media marketing tools then you’re going to need a social media policy. Especially if you’re going to grow your one-man to a full task force of three or more or outsource a freelancer army to handle your social media day to day activities.
First, I’ll show you the benefits of having a social media policy for your business or brand in this infographic with information that you should add to your social media strategy for 2018. After I’ll be showing you the top five social media policies you can learn from to create your own.
Every social media policy defers from another, some are more detailed while others are simply worded and straight to the point.
Depending on your needs you may need to introduce a legal entity in this matter to ensure that it’s air-tight in the long run if you have a large organization or your brands service or products have special needs.
Let’s Get Into It
The following are top brands with social media policy that you should definitely take into consideration when creating your own.
First, let’s take a look at how Adidas does things. As you may know, Adidas is one of the market giants in the sports apparel manufacturing industry. Adidas is a world-famous brand with offices and employees situated all around the globe. How exactly do they manage their employees’ social media ventures? Adidas takes a very encouraging but strict approach when it comes to their Social Media Guidelines. Here are some highlights from Adidas’ Social Media Policy:
- Employees are allowed to associate themselves with the company when posting but they must clearly brand their online posts as personal and purely their own. The company should not be held liable for any repercussions the employees’ content may generate.
- Content about sensitive company information (particularly those found within Adidas internal networks) should not be shared with the outside online community. Divulging information about the company’s design plans, internal operations and legal matters are prohibited.
- Proper copyright and reference laws should be observed by employees when posting online.
#2. Best Buy:
For the second example, let’s take a look at the biggest multinational consumer electronics corporation in America: Best Buy. With a customer service system that relies heavily on the use of social media, Best Buy’s Social Media Policy is clear-cut and precise. Let’s browse through some key points:
- Like Adidas, Best Buy also mandates its employees to freely disclose their affiliation with the company granted that disclaimers are set freeing the company from any intellectual investment in the post.
- Dishonorable content such as racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, and physical disability slurs are not tolerated.
- Employees are not allowed to disclose information that is financial, operational and legal in nature, as well as any information that pertains to clients and customers.
#3. HP (Hewlett-Packard):
HP is one of the biggest information technology corporations in the world. The company has an interesting take on blogging policies by enabling its employees to post content online via a blog embedded on their company website. These are some important points from the HP’s Blogging Code of Conduct:
- HP promotes healthy and honest discourse with its readers.
- The company reserves the right to edit or amend any misleading or inaccurate content depicted in blog posts. The company also reserves the right to delete blog posts violating the code of conduct.
- HP values, respects, and upholds the intellectual property rights of its bloggers.
Let’s now shake it up a little and move into the fashion industry. As one of the most recognizable fashion brands in the world, GAP also recognizes the need to moderate the use of social media amongst their employees within the workplace. At a company conference last year, GAP handed out brochures to its employees depicting proper guidelines and decorum that had to be satisfied when partaking in social media. It was an interesting approach, as the brochure’s content was very conversational, but very straight-forward as well. Here are some excerpts:
- “Some subjects can invite a flame war. Be careful discussing things where emotions run high (e.g., politics and religion) and show respect for others’ opinions.”
- “Your job comes first. Unless you are an authorized Social Media Manager, don’t let social media affect your job performance.”
- “If you #!%#@# up? Correct it immediately and be clear about what you’ve done to fix it. Contact the social media team if it’s a real doozy.”
- “Don’t even think about it…. Talking about financial information, sales trends, strategies, forecasts, legal issues, future promotional activities. Giving out personal information about customers or employees. Posting confidential or non-public information. Responding to an offensive or negative post by a customer. There’s no winner in that game.”
#5. The Los Angeles Times:
For our last example, let’s take a look at one of the premier print media publications in the world. The Los Angeles Times recognizes the importance of social media in journalism. Therefore, they encourage their journalists to freely participate in social media ventures given that they adhere to the Times’ Social Media Guidelines. For some key points:
- Principles of integrity, professionalism, privacy, and impartiality should be observed by journalists when posting online.
- The authenticity of what employees post is important. Online journalists should verify questionable content with credible sources before posting or tweeting about it.
- It is important for employees to properly define their association with the publication as they would do offline.
For extensive detail on how to create a social media strategy, you can view Hootsuite’s take on social media policy for employee’s.
Hopefully, today’s blog has provided enough perspective for you to be able to shape your own company’s social media policy. You can find more social media policy examples from companies such as Dell and Coca-Cola here.
Have any questions or something to add, contact us here and let us know. Remember social media is vital so let’s make it work for you.