Social Media Policy Guide for Small Businesses - Awesome Social

Social Media Policy Guide for Small Businesses

Social Media Policy Guide for Small Businesses

Social media is undeniably important, and today brands put so much effort in marketing their products/services online. But there are plenty of risks associated with it as well. Among other things, a bad social media post could get your business into legal trouble or drop your sales. But there's a way to go about it: 'a social media policy'.

A social media policy isn't just a set of rules, but it also plays an immense role in guiding employees about how to present the brand online. It's a crucial tool for any brand that uses social media for marketing purposes.

What is Social Media Policy?

Social media policy is a code of conduct that advises and provides guidelines to employees who manage the brand's social media or produce content on the internet professionally or personally.

Having a social networking policy for your organizations is essential to ensure that your employees know what they should and should not publish online.

Social media constantly changes. Functionality and networking also change, new platforms rise, and others collapse. Brands need to ensure that their social media policies stay up to date.

7 Terrific Social Policies To Inspire Yours

Let's talk about a couple of notable brands and their social media policies and investigate what's good about their policies and what could improve. We can learn from these enormous brands and utilize that information to further develop our own social media policies in a better way.

  1. Best-buy
Best Buy Twitter profile

The Best Buy social media policy can be summed with the phrase,

"Protect the brand, protect yourself".

Their social media policy guideline is quite clear: the values and ethics that guide staff in the ‘real’ world are constant as people guide employees on social media.

With it's overarching philosophy, Best Buy’s policy is simple, dividing the rules into two parts: what employees ought to do and what employees should never disclose on social media.

Items in what you should do bullets include:

  • Disclosing your employee affiliation.
  • Make it clear that statements are your opinion, not representative of Best Buy.
  • Being careful regarding private information.
  • Following the retail marketing toolkit whilst posting promotional information.

In the contrary, the employees are advised never to disclose legal information, customer details, and confidential information.

2. Coca-Cola

coke linkedin profile
The Coca-Cola Company Linkedin

Coca-Cola’s social media principles are based on shared values ​​and describe how these values ​​should be reflected in the online space. Coca-Cola guideline encourages employees for both individual participation and participation on behalf of the company.

Coca-Cola’s policy conjointly covers and sets expectations for spokespeople, associates, and its authorized agencies.
Some of my favorite policies are:

▪ Let the experts respond to negative posts/comments. Pass the post to a certified spokesperson who are trained to address such comments.
▪ Emphasizes keeping track of online conversations when they officially represent the company.

The only thing that bothers is that Coca-Cola has one of the longest social media policies. Though it's good and descriptive, it could be shorter and well organized. Short policy helps a lot in understanding.

3. Dell

Dell's social media policy is a good example of how social media guidelines are simply one piece of the social media puzzle for employees. Some main points from Dell's social media policy are:

  • Be transparent, have fun and connect.
  • Protect confidential information.
  • Includes social media account ownership.

Social media account ownership is such a great thing to include in a social media policy, considering that things can get messy.

Dell social media
Dell Social Policies

4. Intel

Intel’s social media guidelines make up a crystal clear example of what every social media policy should be. The best part is that, the policy includes words and phrases to avoid, what to do in case of a mistake, and more. The guidelines are just as encouraging as they are cautionary. Their social media guidelines break up the corporate policy into three distinct parts:

  • Disclose your relationship to Intel.
  • Protect Intel.
  • Use common sense when posting.

One thing we  like about their social media policy is:

disclose your relationship with Intel and be transparent on social media.

They instruct employees to use the hashtag #iwork4intel when posting on social media.

Intel Social Media Guidelines

5. Ford Motor

Ford's digital participation guidelines are user-friendly and comprehensive. Source: hawthornemediagroup.com.

Ford’s social media policy consists of a very precise single-page PDF, from 2010. Ford’s policy consists of these main principles:

  • Be honest about who you are.
  • Clarify that the views expressed are yours.
  • You speak for yourself, but your actions represent Ford Motor Company's.
  • Use your common sense.
  • When in doubt, ask.

Social media has changed dramatically in these years but these guidelines are valid and valuable till today. But still they should be upgraded accordingly.

6. HP (Hewlett-Packard)

HP is one of the enormous information technology corporations in the world. The company has a unique take on policies by enabling its employees to post online via a blog embedded in their company website. Some important point from their social media policies are:

  • The company promotes healthy and honest discourse with its readers.
  • HP respects, values and sustains the intellectual property rights of it’s bloggers.


7. IBM

IBM's social media policy is one of the good ones we've seen. It displays team-spirit and emphasizes the trust the company places in its employees. Some of their great social media policy includes:

  • Encourages employees to participate in social media and let's them to express themselves.
  • Provides clear guidelines about what can and cannot be shared.
  • Instructs the employees to use a disclaimer in blogs and protect IBM’s clients, business partners, and suppliers.

Finally

These are some of the biggest and most successful brands and are the living example for you to learn and get inspiration from their social media policies when creating your own. Always remember that social media policy needs to be updated accordingly for successful marketing.