Social media has moved quickly from a geeky plaything to a crucial tool. Most people have flocked to sites like Facebook for a very simple reason. They are using them to organise their social lives, and stay in touch.
Given the size of the crowd, it is hardly suprising that some businesses have leapt at the chance to cash in on the social media audience. But that doesn’t mean the audience will be sympathetic to a sales pitch intruding into their social lives.
Some social media sites are geared towards business use, and are widely viewed as natural places for a company to directly participate. Twitter and LinkedIn are currently the most business oriented, but the scale of the audience at Facebook has also tempted many companies to try a direct presence.
Regardless of the site, the lines between personal and professional can quickly become blurred for your workforce.
Everyone has a past, and at least a few embarassing friends. You need to set guidelines to help your employees know what to share, and where to draw the line between work and play.
The last thing you need is a staff member that shares too much of their social life. Interaction and engagement are what these sites are all about. If your team are over sharing, and including clients in their social media inner circles, then the risks of a client relationship being damaged simply escalate.
By setting a clear policy, you are taking the guesswork out of the situation for your team. It will make it much easier for everyone involved.
Your policy should cover:
- Topics you are happy for employees to talk about
- Material that is off limits
- How to deal with enquiries, complaints, and trolls
- Who to contact if things go wrong
- Profile information and photos
If this sounds like simple stuff, it is. Social media policy doesn’t need to be complicated.
You wouldn’t expect a newly hired person to deal with clients over the phone without basic training. Social media is no different.