Done strategically and thoughtfully, social media engagement can be a valuable addition to an organization’s communications toolbox. You also have employees, who can either expand your positive impact or get you in trouble. In this article, we discuss tips for helping to manage your employee’s presence on social media.
- Develop a policy for employees: How strict or loose do you want to be in setting rules for personal social media engagement for your employees? Some organizations ask their employees to add a disclaimer to their social media accounts, states that their views are their own, and not the organizations. Others expressly ask them to adhere to certain guidelines for their content – such as not saying negative things about customers or competitors.
- Introduce policy during hiring and onboarding process: The stricter your social media rules are, the earlier in the hiring and onboarding process you should introduce them. This expectations-setting process will prevent conflict down the road, because the expectations were established up-front before they started.
- Shape engagement: If you are going to tell people what NOT to do on social media, you should also give ideas on what would be helpful! Employees can be your eyes and ears, and may see posts about your organization that you don’t catch. Tell them how to escalate concerns, how you prefer them to magnify or repost content, and how to spread the word about your social media presence in productive ways.
- Decide how you will react to bad behavior: Decide as an organization how you plan to confront employees when they show poor judgement on social media. Stories abound about how people have lost their jobs based on a political “Twitter rant” or “trashing” their employer online. Know in advance how you will respond if this happens to your organization.
When connection and engagement matter, employees can be one your greatest assets in social media. Set expectations for respectful behavior right up front, and then let employees magnify your message to let the positive flames spread wide!