How to Write a Social Media Policy [Templates]

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A social media coverage is a essential device for any group—a code of conduct that protects what you are promoting’ fame and allows workers to keep out of bother.

Learn on for all the pieces you want to learn about creating a company social media coverage, together with social media coverage examples and a template to enable you to begin your personal social media coverage immediately.

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What is a social media policy?

A social media policy is an official company document that provides guidelines and requirements for your organization’s social media use.

Your social media policy is intended to cover your brand’s official channels, as well as how employees use social media, both personally and professionally.

Social media policies apply to everyone from the CEO to summer interns, so they need to be easy to understand. These documents can be part of wider social media marketing strategies, or live with onboarding materials and other company policies.

Why do you need a social media policy for employees?

An official company social media policy is an important document. It helps maintain your brand voice while mitigating social media risks. Here are some of the most important reasons to implement a social media policy.

Maintain your brand identity across channels

You likely have multiple people managing multiple accounts across multiple channels. A solid social media policy keeps things consistent and on-brand.

Protect yourself from legal and regulatory challenges

A well-crafted and enforced social policy protects you from falling afoul of rules and regulations. The consequences of breaking them can be major — accidental insider trading, for instance.

Prevent a security breach

A solid social media policy combined with proper security protocols helps protect your accounts against phishing, hacking, and impostor accounts. Including security guidelines in your policy will help ensure employee passwords are changed frequently and meet high standards, and set rules related to using social media on company equipment.

Respond quickly if a crisis or breach does happen

Despite your best efforts, a breach or crisis could still happen. Sometimes the violation or crisis comes from a part of the organization that has nothing to do with social media. You’ll still be expected to address it on social channels.

A social policy makes sure you have an emergency response plan in place.

Clarify employees’ social media responsibilities

You can’t assume employees or associates will make the right call on social media unless you specifically spell it out. So, for example, if you don’t want them to post while wearing their uniform, say so.

Encourage your employees to amplify your brand’s message

All of that said, you don’t want to discourage employees from amplifying your brand message on social media. When you’ve got big product news or a message to share, it’s great to have your whole team on board.

However that may be a delicate dance. If somebody has your organization identify of their bio, does that imply your model endorses their drunken Vegas trip? A transparent social media coverage for workers helps your workforce know what they will and will share on social, and what they need to skip.

Social media coverage template

Should you’ve heard sufficient and also you’re prepared to dive into creating your personal coverage, go forward and obtain our free social media coverage template and get began. However when you’re dying for extra element, right here you go: all the pieces that it is best to embrace in your organization’s social media coverage

Create pointers for acceptable on-line habits

There are some belongings you don’t suppose you’ve got to inform folks — don’t take your pants off at church, for instance. However when your organization’s social media fame is on the road, you may’t make assumptions about etiquette. Spell out precisely what is suitable and what’s not so that you simply by no means have to reprimand an worker for posting a screenshot of your banking info.

Your social media pointers might embrace issues like…

  • No hate speech
  • No confidential firm information
  • No profanity
  • Social media posts ought to use correct spelling and grammatical conventions (keep away from slang)
  • Emojis are OK moderately (most one per put up)
  • No reposting or sharing content material with out fact-checking or confirming its unique supply

Safety pointers

At a minimal, the safety part of your social media coverage ought to embrace the next:

  • Guidelines associated to private social media use on enterprise tools
  • Social media actions to keep away from, like quizzes that ask for private info
  • Which departments or workforce members are chargeable for every social media account
  • Tips on how to create an efficient password and the way usually to change passwords
  • Expectations for protecting software program and gadgets up to date
  • How to determine and keep away from scams, assaults, and different safety threats
  • Who to notify and the way to reply if a social media safety concern arises

Plan for buyer contact

Social media isn’t simply a one-way communication device. You’ll (hopefully!) have followers commenting in your posts and sending personal messages.

Don’t go away these buyer or shopper interactions up to probability. Ought to complaints be dealt with instantly by a explicit division? What’s your technique for de-escalating a tense scenario?

Take a second in your social media coverage to make clear simply how to reply to questions or considerations — whether or not optimistic or adverse.

Define how to cope with questionable content material

Your model fame on social media is knowledgeable by what you put up, after all. However what different individuals are saying about you may be impactful too — for higher or for worse.

Social listening instruments may help your organization keep on high of mentions and feedback, but it surely’s your company social media coverage that can decide what to do when you spot a unusual rumor or unsanctioned intel on-line.

As an example, McDonalds ought to in all probability put together for somebody to finally take this April Fools joke out of context. How will they set the file straight?

Describe the method workers are anticipated to observe when coming throughout misinformation, information leaks, confidential info, or different questionable content material concerning the corporate on social media.

In fact, questionable content material doesn’t at all times goal a firm: make a plan for serving to workers who might face harassment or threats over social media, too.

Decide the approval course of

Your social media coverage ought to make clear who wants to be concerned in each put up. If there are individuals who want to approve content material earlier than it goes stay, their contact information wants to stay within the social media coverage doc.

Make clear private social media use

Even when your organization isn’t on social media, your workers undoubtedly are. Together with a part in your social media coverage about acceptable habits on private social media accounts is necessary.

In fact you may’t dictate what folks can and may’t say once they’re off the clock… a lesson the BBC is studying the exhausting means as workers have kicked up a fuss in regards to the information group’s ban on “advantage signaling.”

However companies are inside their rights to set ground-rules concerning work-related content material.

For instance, is all of it proper if workers embrace firm information of their social media bios, or is that doubtlessly problematic? Are workers permitted to share pictures from the worksite on their social accounts? What about pictures of themselves of their firm uniform? Make a choice about the place the road is, after which stick to it — for workers in any respect ranges.

How to deal with a PR disaster

Take into account this the “in case of emergency” part of your social media coverage. When all the pieces goes improper, how do you propose to make it proper?

Should you want some inspiration for crafting your good PR resolution, take a look at this put up on ideas for managing a social media PR catastrophe.

An outline of copyright regulation

Regardless of what meme tradition would have you ever imagine, copyright regulation is alive and properly. Whereas some random child on Twitter in all probability doesn’t have to fear about Disney coming after him for posting a Photoshopped picture of Simba, as a company, you’ll need to avoid any potential authorized points.

A British make-up model discovered itself in court docket final winter when Warner Music sued it for utilizing unauthorized songs in Instagram and TikTok movies. (Iconic London nonetheless is utilizing business songs in its Instagram movies — and whereas we will’t verify in the event that they paid to license these ones, we will verify they’re bops.)

Familiarize your workforce with frequent copyright points — right here’s a primer on picture copyright to get you began — and take into account creating a clear guidelines to be sure all the pieces shared on-line is compliant with copyright regulation.

Describe the implications of breaking the social media coverage

The grand conclusion of your social media coverage magnum opus? A transparent description of the self-discipline course of if somebody fails to adjust to the coverage. What occurs if somebody doesn’t observe these pointers?

As necessary as it’s to be clear, it’s additionally essential to be constant. Taking part in favourites or choosing and selecting who to self-discipline is a recipe for dangerous company tradition, or worse, a PR catastrophe when somebody goes public with what they view as unfair remedy.

Set a assessment date

Social media adjustments quick. Which suggests your social media coverage ought to be often reviewed to be sure it’s maintaining the tempo. Embrace in your social media coverage how regularly critiques will occur (as soon as a yr? quarterly?) to guarantee expectations are at all times up-to-date and correct.

Prepared to begin your personal social media coverage? Get began with our free template.

Social media coverage examples

Typically there’s nothing like a real-world instance to get issues going. Listed here are some nice ones to mannequin when creating your personal social media coverage.

Bonus: Get a free, customizable social media coverage template to shortly and simply create pointers on your firm and workers.

The Authorities of BC

British Columbia Social Media Guidelines

Governments aren’t at all times identified for being up to the mark like know-how, however we’ve gotta say: we’re impressed with how interactive and accessible the B.C. authorities has made its social media coverage. The web site is extremely clear and straightforward to learn and navigate, even that includes potential situations.

Tufts College

Tufts University Relations Communications and Marketing

This U.S. college has a thorough social media coverage that’s accessible on-line, with hyperlinks to different related paperwork embedded all through — akin to a hyperlink to an software for an official Tufts social media account.

This social media coverage additionally incorporates accessibility suggestions. If that is one thing that’s necessary to your organization’s variety and inclusion efforts, it’s possible you’ll want to embrace these particulars as properly. (Extra on accessibility and social media right here!)

Revolution Capital

Revolution Policy Social Media and Blog Policy

This social media coverage is a reminder that these paperwork don’t have to be lengthy. Notably for a smaller group with fewer folks concerned with social, a short-and-sweet listing of guidelines — like this one from Revolution Capital — might make extra sense as a reference doc.


Shiseido purpose and guidelines for social media participation

The Shiseido Firm breaks its coverage into two components: objective and pointers. By outlining its goal for being concerned in social media within the first place, Shiseido offers all of its social media managers a clear guiding mild. Understanding that the social media accounts exist to enhance buyer satisfaction creates an expectation that posts shall be courteous and useful each time.


Adobe Code of Conduct guidelines

Adobe consists of its social media coverage for workers inside a broader enterprise insurance policies doc. In the end, social media is only one aspect of the best way your workforce members could also be representing your model, so it’d make sense to join it to a bigger-picture code of conduct.

How to implement a social media coverage for workers

1. Obtain our social media coverage template

It’s free, and it asks all of the questions you want to get began. Click on the teal field beneath to obtain.

Bonus: Get a free, customizable social media coverage template to shortly and simply create pointers on your firm and workers.

2. Search enter from stakeholders

Each company social media coverage goes to be distinctive. You’ll be able to in all probability get some nice concepts about what your particular group wants from:

  • your product’s energy customers
  • the advertising workforce
  • the social workforce
  • the HR workforce
  • any public spokespeople
  • your authorized workforce

Don’t neglect to get common workers concerned within the dialogue. In spite of everything, this coverage impacts all of them.

This doesn’t imply you want suggestions from each single worker. However do get enter from workforce leads, union reps, or others who can symbolize teams of workers to let you already know about any concepts, questions, or considerations.

As you draft your coverage, don’t get caught up in tutorials or particulars. The nitty-gritty will inevitably change, and quick. Concentrate on the large image.

3. Resolve the place your coverage will stay

We extremely suggest including your coverage to your worker handbook in order that new hires can work by way of it throughout onboarding.

However the place will current workers entry it? Will it stay in your firm intranet, or shared drives? Relying in your group’s wants, it’s possible you’ll take into account posting it to your exterior web site as properly.

4. Launch it (or relaunch it)

Whether or not it’s a revision or a model new doc, you’ll need to be sure everyone seems to be conscious there’s new info they want to know. Whether or not you announce it by way of inner electronic mail or at an all-hands assembly, ensure you go away loads of room and alternative for questions.

Should you’re launching a new replace, embrace a listing of key adjustments and a revision date.

5. Schedule an replace for subsequent yr (and even subsequent quarter)

It’s not unusual to see social media insurance policies that date again to the darkish ages of 2013 or 2011. (You’ll be able to inform as a result of they use buzzwords like “Net 2.0” and “microblogs.”)

Social media is in fixed flux, and your social media coverage will want common updates. Social networks and functionalities change, new social media websites emerge, and others fall.

Your social media coverage can’t simply sit in a drawer (or a Google Doc.). These insurance policies from the early 2010s couldn’t have anticipated the rise of TikTok or the fixed stage of connection folks now have with their cell gadgets.

Committing to an annual, biannual, and even quarterly assessment will guarantee your coverage stays helpful and related. On the very least, you’ll need to guarantee all the small print and phone info are up to date.

6. Implement it

Creating a social media coverage is nice. But when nobody’s imposing it, why trouble?

Your social media coverage ought to embrace a schedule of normal audits to determine new accounts that declare to symbolize your organization. And it is best to be sure your social coverage consists of particulars of the implications for breaching the necessities, so nobody is shocked by disciplinary motion in the event that they break the foundations.

Lastly, your workforce ought to have interaction in social listening. This may determine social conversations about your model and any posts (by workers or in any other case) that go towards your coverage.

Professional tip: Social listening is tremendous straightforward to get began with in Hootsuite. Even with a primary Professional Plan, you may arrange streams that monitor conversations, key phrases, mentions, and hashtags on social media so you may take fast motion on any worker posts that go towards your social media coverage.

The Hootsuite dashboard showing streams set up for social listening, monitoring posts mentioning the Hootsuite brand

Strive it free of charge

Should you’re a larger group that basically needs to spend money on serving to its workers put up appropriately on social media, we recommend an worker advocacy resolution like Hootsuite Amplify. Amplify serves up pre-approved, on-brand content material on your workers to share throughout their social networks in seconds.

Get a free demo

Simply handle all of your firm’s social media profiles utilizing Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you may schedule and publish posts, have interaction your followers, monitor related conversations, measure outcomes, handle your adverts, and far more.

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Do it higher with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media device. Keep up to the mark, develop, and beat the competitors.

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