A social media policy outlines the corporate guidelines and general principles that should be used by all members of staff when communicating on the social media channels. Irrespective of how active your company is in social media marketing, it is probably true that members of your staff are active even when not at work. So it is probably reasonable to lay down some guidelines as to what is acceptable behavior when communicating online.
Brand Compliant Social Networking
It is important that your employees are aware that when they mention your company or what they do, it must be done in a responsible manner, and that the contents are broadly aligned with your company’s values and professional standards. So a social media policy will help to emphasize to your employees that company loyalty extends to all forms of internal or external, and traditional or internet marketing communications. When you are writing your policy document start with the objective and lay down exactly how the company should be represented online, from branding issues to intellectual property. Make sure that everyone understands the boundaries and what they are at liberty to discuss and what is proprietary information.
You should also make sure that you have registered your brand on all of the social media outlets so that wherever possible you have your own pages set up and channels on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube all with your own branding look and feel. There are many that say all of this is not necessary, that it is just a matter of common sense, but what is obvious to one person is not necessarily so to others. Of course all of this could be integrated into your communications policy that would cover all mediums in use. Social media should not really be treated differently from other forms of communications since people should behave in a sensible manner however they are communicating. The difference now is that it is so commonplace that staff members who previously did not have much of a public voice can now all contribute to the dialogue online, so it is critical that the boundaries are set clearly. Check out the Social Media Marketing Section