Social media is a highly saturated space, and being original is essential for you to make a mark and build a loyal audience. However, when you’re running an official company account, you can’t just hand over control to an intern and say ‘go crazy’. From house style guidelines to specific dos and don’ts, every company should have rules for its social media content and stick to them. And if the word ‘rules’ sounds too restrictive, we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to design a social media policy that ensures consistency and accuracy while leaving plenty of room for originality.
- Have your whole team on board – Few things are as tedious as simply being handed a bunch of instructions. When you draft your social media policy, make it a team exercise with all relevant stakeholders, including your junior employees and your interns. In fact, it often helps to have new blood weighing in, as they have the outsider’s perspective and can tell you what’s working without bias.
- Frame your guidelines positively – Rather than compiling a list of straight-out don’ts, help your team become aware of what your company wants to be known for, what the core values are and what goals the company wishes to achieve. This will help them understand and plan for the best social media content that reflects organisational values and promotes business goals.
- Agree on what constitutes confidential information – It’s vital to lay out exactly what constitutes private or confidential information – in other words, information that should not be shared under any circumstances. This is also where you can lay out the consequences of posting such details online, whether inadvertently or on purpose.
- Have some templates for DMs – Your company account will likely deal with a lot of routine queries over comment or DM. Work with your team to craft template responses that are helpful while being concise. This is also where you agree on a maximum response time for queries, and then stick to it.
- Have a designated spokesperson – To avoid confusion, there should be one go-to company spokesperson that your team can ask in case they need official quotes or are uncertain about facts. Ideally, the same person should be the one handling questions during things like live chats, so as to maintain a consistent voice.
- Keep training everyone – Don’t assume that team members who have been with your company longer automatically know all the ropes. Keep having refresher courses on your social media policy, especially prior to peak seasons or when changes have been implemented. As far as possible, centre your training around real-life examples of good and bad social media usage. This shows your team what to aim for and what to avoid.
- Be open to suggestions – Rules are important, but they should never be set in stone. Encourage your social media team to share ideas on content, format and style as and when they like. After all, as the ones directly operating the company page, they have the best insights on what’s working and what isn’t. And when they do share useful pointers, implement them and acknowledge the team members responsible. This will encourage them to keep coming back with ideas.
What you post online as a company can make or break your reputation, but with a little structure to your social media strategy, you’re well on your way to building a dynamic presence. At Star Squared PR, we understand the importance of public reputation like no one else and have helped multiple companies be their best digital selves. Feel free to reach out – we’d love to help you do the same.