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7 Tips to Create a Social Media Policy for Your Business

In today’s market, just about any and every business is linked to the Internet in some form or another.  Whether your business has a high-powered website and runs an aggressive Internet marketing campaign, or if it merely has a Google Places listing, your business’ reputation relies on what goes on in virtual reality – perhaps much more than you even know.  For that reason, many businesses are placing formal social media policies into their standard employee manuals.  If you run a business, then you should be doing that same thing.  Here are seven tips to create a social media policy for your business:

Cover all your bases.  There are number of different social media platforms on the world-wide web, and your policy needs to specify which sites it covers.  Consider including references to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and/or LinkedIn.  If you are in doubt as to whether or not a social media site pertains to your business, your best bet is to include it in your policy.

Personal versus professional.  Your policy should clearly state that it applies to both personal and professional use of social media outlets.  Basically, any time your business is mentioned in social media by an employee, that communication needs to fall inside of your policy guidelines.

Proprietary information.  Many businesses require that their employees sign confidentiality agreements.  Even if your business doesn’t, your social media policy should state that the mention of any and all confidential or proprietary information regarding your business operations on social media sites is strictly prohibited.

Social media use at work.  This is up to your discretion, but whatever your business’ social media usage guidelines are, they need to be thoroughly outlined in your social media policy.

Protecting your brand.  Your social media policy should state that employees are not allowed to use the company logo, or other unique brand identifiers, in social media postings without your prior approval.

Your business perspective.  Your employees should never post on the company’s behalf without your prior approval.  Any personal posts having to do with your business need to clearly state that any opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the business.

Rights reserved.  One way of protecting your online reputation even after the fact of a faulty social media post is to include a section in your social media policy that assigns you, the business, with the right to remove or alter business-related social media posts that don’t meet your social media policy guidelines.

Creating a social media policy for your business is no small task, but it is a very important one.  For guidance and professional consulting when it comes to your business’ social media presence, call us at 866-873-1521 for a no obligation for consultation.

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