Having a SoMe-policy in your company is a good way to ensure that your employees know how to behave appropriately on the different SoMe channels. In this article, we present you with a guide on designing a SoMe-policy across your channels.

What is a SoMe-policy?

A SoMe-policy is a set of written guidelines on how an organization and its employees should behave online. A SoMe-policy helps protect your company’s reputation.

However, it is important to be aware of the fact that social media is in constant development, and you should, therefore, design and update your SoMe-policy continuously. Your policy must also be easy to access and read to create the best starting point for your employees.

In sum, the goal of your SoMe-policy is to give your employees simple guidelines that are easy to follow.

Benefits of a SoMe-policy

Whether you have been around for a long time without a SoMe-policy or your organization is already established on social media, it is never too late to make a social media policy.

Protects you against legal and security risks

Social media can be complicated in relation to things such as copyright and the boundary between work and privacy. Here, a strong SoMe-policy can help protect your organization against potential legal and security risks. Therefore, it should describe potential threats and contain instructions on how to handle and avoid them.

Allows employees to share peacefully

Do your employees want to share your company’s content and good stories on social media? If yes, then it is a good idea to give them the tools to do it the right way without worrying about getting into trouble with the company’s regulations.

For example, you can use your SoMe-policy as a tool for guiding employees’ Employee Advocacy activities, such as sharing relevant content and commenting on posts online. 

If you are interested in Employee Advocacy, then read: How to succeed with Employee Advocacy. 

Creates consistency across your channels

What is your brand’s voice – funny, professional, youthful? It is advantageous to decide and describe the tone of voice that you want to use and be represented by on social media.

You can encourage your employees to add specific hashtags when sharing something on Social Media that concerns your company.

What should be included in a SoMe-policy?

Although there is an overlap between the two, it is a good idea to divide your policy into:

  • A SoMe-policy for the organization’s official channels
  • A SoMe-policy for the employees in general

This will make your policy clearer and easier to follow. 

General rules

Below is a general overview of what a SoMe-policy should include: 

  • Brand guidelines: How is your organization or products mentioned?
  • Engagement: Explain if and how you want your employees to respond to the organization’s posts
  • Confidentiality: Define which information about the business that should not be shared on social media
  • Consequences: Make it clear to the employees what the consequences are for not complying with the SoMe-policy
  • Photos and videos: Your SoMe-policy should include guidelines on the use of photos and videos about your company. Photo and video guidelines also help create a more consistent presence on social media.

Roles and responsibility

Having a plan and knowing who is responsible for what is the key to responding effectively in a crisis. You might not end up in any kind of crisis, but in general, it is an advantage to assign someone the primary responsibility of social media. Therefore, it can be a good idea to distribute and write down the various areas of responsibility.

For example:

  • How to respond to criticism against the company
  • Who approves messages that are being sent
  • Who is in charge of customer service
  • Security and legal affairs
  • SoMe-training of employees
  • Monitoring the social media channels.

Implement your SoMe-policy

1. Seek input
It is a good idea to include your employees in the process of designing your SoMe-policy. Including your employees helps ensure that all topics are covered and that your employees accept the policy.

2. Look at the big picture
As mentioned before, social media is constantly evolving. Therefore, be careful not to write down specifications for each channel. Instead, set the guidelines in your policy.

3. The policy is there for your employees
Keep in mind that your SoMe-policy should not frighten your employees but is there to help them feel more secure when posting or commenting online. Thus, avoid making a document of “don’ts”. Instead, give your employees the tools they need to exploit the potential of your social media.

Do you have experience with a SoMe-policy?

If yes, we would like to hear about them in the comments below.

The article is written with inspiration from this blog post.

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