As a marketer, social media is undeniably important – in fact, in 2020, three-quarters (74%) of all global marketers now invest in social media marketing.
Social media can help you engage with new audiences, increase brand awareness, handle customer service inquiries, and even increase sales. (As an avid Instagram user, I can’t count the amount of times I’ve “Swiped Up to Purchase” on a link from a popular influencer.)
But there’s plenty of risk involved with social media, as well. Among other things, a bad social media post could spiral into a full-blown PR crisis or get your business into legal trouble.
Fortunately, there is a tactic you can use to ensure your social media strategy is safe, consistent, and scalable as your company grows and different employees get access to your social media accounts: a social media policy.
Let’s explore how these five companies created effective social media policies to inspire your own, today. Just remember, there isn’t just one ‘right’ policy for every company. Pick and choose what you like from these five companies to help get you started, and tailor it to fit your culture and business objectives.
But first, let’s dive into a few benefits of a social media policy.
You might be worried about providing too many strict rules on your social media strategy. Will it diminish the authenticity you’re hoping to evoke in your posts, or take too much creative freedom away from your employees?
Fortunately, if done correctly, a social media policy won’t ruin the creative freedom you’re hoping to protect. If anything, it will enable your employees to feel more comfortable amplifying your social media messages on their own channels, knowing each post is fully aligned with your business’s values and tone.
Here are a few major benefits to creating a corporate social media policy:
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s dive into five businesses that got social media policy right.
Best Buy has a social media policy in place that preemptively addresses privacy concerns that could arise using social media.
Here are some highlights of Best Buy’s social media policy:
Walmart is dedicated to their social media accounts, and believe in social media as an avenue for customer service — because of this dedication, their policy regarding Twitter is reasonable and something I wish more Twitter users would follow in their daily tweeting.
Here are some of my favorite aspects of their policy:
One of the oldest and most popular automotive makers, you’d expect Ford to be relatively old-fashioned when it comes to social media, but Ford’s rules are both refreshing and straightforward.
One of my personal favorites? “Awareness that what you say is permanent”. In a world largely interested in quick-likes and controversial opinions for the sake of retweets, Ford’s approach is a good reminder that what you say today matters for the future of your company’s reputation.
A couple call-outs:
One of the most popular media institutions in the world, The New York Times recognizes the price for its popularity — namely, that anything their employees state on their personal accounts could come across as the official opinion of The Times.
To cultivate its social media policy, the Times collected quotes from several Times reporters — this provides additional accountability and a sense of fairness, as it demonstrates several employees’ endorsement of their policy.
Here are some sections worth reviewing:
This Boston-based SaaS company takes a stricter approach to its social media policy, but if you’re in the software space, it’s a good policy to review.
Here are some of the highlights of Oracle’s social media policy:
Ultimately, the rules and regulations you choose to include in your policy should reflect your own brand’s values, messaging, and tone. However, hopefully you can use these examples to ensure you include statements that can help protect you against legal or regulatory disputes in the future based on an employees’ social media posts.
Additionally, aim to use your social media policy to increase your social media strategies’ effectiveness and ensure you’re creating a positive brand image on any platform on which you post.
Originally published Apr 23, 2020 3:00:00 PM, updated April 23 2020