Does Your Small Business Need A Social Media Policy?

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Social media is now considered an everyday communication channel, with an increasing amount of businesses incorporating social media as part of their marketing strategy and plan. Social media takes on a new form when used for personal reasons in the workplace or as a business representative, both entailing implications.

Most large businesses have a formal social media policy to ensure employees comply with standards of what is deemed appropriate or inappropriate. It is common to find that small business owners neglect to implement a social media policy due to the assumed trust it has in employees. However, it only takes one inadmissible post to social media to create a branding disaster that could affect a business’s overall reputation.

A social media policy helps to eradicate potential mishaps by providing a guideline for what behaviour is considered acceptable and unacceptable on all social media platforms. With the holiday season approaching, now is a great time to review your current social media policy and make any necessary amendments, or create a new one.

If your business is yet to implement a social media policy, here are a few tips to getting started:

Less Is More

Try not to overcomplicate the process by setting out clear rules and boundaries. By keeping it simple, employees can understand what is allowed and what constitutes inappropriate, as common sense does not always prevail.

Encourage Staff Involvement

Starting up a discussion with your employees allows for open conservation as to what is regarded as professional online behaviour and when social media is allowed in the workplace.

Incorporate Training

Social media etiquette can be a murky territory if there is no formal policy in order. Individuals have different opinions on what should and should not be posted online, and whether social media is restricted at work. Through staff training, your business can make your employees aware of their expectations and the consequences of poor social media usage on productivity and reputation.

In general, the social media policy should cover the rules of engagement online, intellectual property, endorsements, privacy considerations and employee discontent. If you are unsure or need further advice about the implementation of a policy like this, consider seeking professional advice.

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