Your Guide to Creating a Social Media Policy

The world has moved online, and your employees have likely moved with it. But while there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of social media activity, mixing it up with work hours and work identities can make for hazardous PR situations and data leakages that no business should have to clean up after. 

Fortunately, there is a simple solution. 

Social media policies provide structure and regulation for the use of social media and make it easy for businesses to manage employees who use it. 

If you need a helping hand ensuring your employees are great advocates for your business and manage their social media use and posting in a positive way, this guide can help. We’ve explained what a social media policy is, why it is so important for today’s businesses, and how to create a social media policy that aligns with your unique brand values and team of employees. 

See our on-demand webinar: Transforming Employees into Social Media Champions: Building a Strong Advocacy Program

What Is A Social Media Policy?

A social media policy is a set of guidelines that help to establish ground rules, limitations, and suggestions for how employees should approach social media usage while at work. It also shows boundaries around what employees are allowed to post with regard to their jobs and company activities or news, both during working hours and outside of them. 

Social media policies are absolutely crucial for businesses in all sectors. Not only does unrestricted, unregulated social media usage impact productivity and focus during work hours, but it also creates the potential for leaking sensitive company information and negatively impacting online brand identity. 

By creating a social media policy, your business can promote better productivity for employees and protect its brand identity both online and in the office. 

The Importance of Having a Social Media Policy in Place

According to a recent survey, employees spend approximately 12% of their working hours on social media. Without social media policies in place, your employees may be at risk of becoming unproductive, as well as endangering the company by being improperly represented online. 

This becomes especially true if your company uses employee advocacy strategies on social media. When employees are actively participating in a campaign that requires them to post on social media, having policies in place ensures everyone understands and can follow the necessary guidelines. 

In addition to using a social media policy, brands can also use employee advocacy software to enhance the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and manage results with ease. 

4 Key Components of a Social Media Policy

Because social media has only existed for a relatively short period of time, the idea behind social media policies has only entered business procedures in the past decade or so. 

When it comes to corporate communications and creating social media guidelines, many businesses may feel lost. Fortunately, there are plenty of social media policy samples for employees available online. Knowing how to write a social media policy is also a skill that’s easy to learn. Plus, there is a simple set of key components that any business can follow when creating a social media policy that all employees can adhere to. These include the following:

1. Introduction

A brief introduction and explanation about the policy, why it exists, and how it ties into other important company policies. 

2. Guidelines

The list of guidelines your company would like to implement. Some of the most popular ones include employee access, use of official accounts, amount of time spent on social media per day, and the approval process required for posting any work or business-related content.

3. Platforms

Clearly establish which sites and platforms employees are allowed to access during their work hours. A social media policy often lists all the available platforms, and you can use this to ensure you cover all your bases.

4. Security

The leaking or sharing of confidential company information is a serious business. Outline prohibited topics, behaviors, copyrights, discrimination, and how crossing these boundaries will be dealt with should they arise. 

Best Practices For Communicating And Enforcing A Social Media Policy Within An Organization

There are a few important points you need to know before you can establish a social media policy that really suits your brand’s needs and intentions. Here are some best practices to consider. 

1. Adopt the right tone of voice 

Using a social media guidelines template is a great way to draw up policies from scratch, but it is still a good idea to infuse it with your brand’s unique tone of voice. Keep things authentic and true to your brand’s values by editing your social media policy template to ensure more consistency across all policies. 

2. Make it look brand-adjacent and attractive

Not everyone is going to be super happy about effectively receiving a handbook for how they are allowed to use social media. 

After all, social media addiction is real and you don’t want to weaken employee morale. But you can lighten the mood by making the policy look visually appealing and using friendly, casual language. If you’re customizing a social media policy sample, get your graphics or creative team to spruce it up. If you’re creating one from scratch, ensure it’s engaging and easy to read. 

3. Double-check that your policies tie in with legalities

Implementing a social media policy and procedure isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s important to remember that different regions and countries have unique laws regarding social media usage. Make sure your social media policy adheres to any applicable laws in this area and maintains both business and employee rights in equal regard. 

4. Accompany your new policy with a meeting or workshop

People may have questions or concerns about the new social media policies, and that’s completely normal. You can give your employees the space and time to voice these notions in a friendly meeting or workshop that introduces them to the new policies in a more comfortable, open-minded context. 

How Clearview Social Can Help 

When it comes to managing employee social media activity, there is no better way to go about it than with the guidance of an employee advocacy software tool like Clearview Social. Our tool offers numerous features that make social media strategies, especially employee advocacy campaigns, easier to manage and run successfully.

Using Clearview Social, you can create and provide approved content that employees can share on social media, either manually or with a single click. You can also implement posting approval processes that tie in with your social media policy to ensure that all content aligns with your brand image. Additionally, Clearview Social makes tracking employee participation in your social media strategy simple, as it provides detailed analytics for your accounts.

By using Clearview Social and following our tips for creating a social media policy, any business can boost engagement and shares, both internally and with your target audience.  

If you’re ready to discover how Clearview Social can enhance your social media campaigns and policy, request a demo today.