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5 Guidelines for your social media policy

A recent study InSites Consulting conducted, showed that more than 50% of Western European companies are (re-)thinking their social media policy. The main problem with most of these policies is the foundation of this document. In most cases, fear is the foundation. 'We need a policy to avoid disasters', is an often heard sentence.

Why don’t we turn it around and look at some criteria that should be part of any social media policy:

  1. Coca-ColaSimple & common sense: don’t make it too complex. That’s what I really like about the social media policy of Coca Cola. It’s just 10 simple rules. The full document is no longer than 3 pages. And the content is just common sense.

  3. Positive: Your policy should make people enthusiastic. If your policy is full of stuff people shouldn’t do, well, the result will be pretty predictable: they won’t do anything out of fear of doing something wrong. Engage your employees to go out there and to promote the great things of your company.

  5. Facilitating: Help your employees to deal with this new medium. It starts with giving people the proper education. We train our employees in almost everything except the usage of social media. Train them to increase the self confidence of your team. Next to that, tell them the type of words, sentences you would like them to use when they talk about your company. By offering them the right tools, training and vocabulary, people will know what to do.

  7. Respect, listen & be open: make sure people respect each other, respect competition, respect other opinions. A social media policy is about introducing ‘openness’ as a company value. We’re open to other people’s opinions and embrace them where we can. Listen to what others tell you and see if you can take their feedback forward. Listening is not enough, taking feedback from the outside world back into your company is what this is all about.

  9. The three magic beliefs: Finally, there are three magic believes when it comes to online conversations: always be positive, say “Thank you” when needed and say “I’m sorry” if you screwed up.

Simple rules that help you to turn every situation into an opportunity for your organizaion.