Social Media Best Practices – Creating and Adhering to Social Media Policies
By Barton Goldenberg
Given the importance of getting the Social Media component right in a Social CRM initiative, I want to focus this post on best ‘people’ practices for an organization’s Social Media effort. Thus includes Creating and Adhering to Social Media Policies.
Any organization that is active in Social Media should put in place policies that ensure employees participate properly in Social Media communities. Employees should be invited to engage on a regular basis in Social Media. This can include writing blogs, acting as a subject matter expert, participating in forums, etc. Effective Social Media policies inform employees what they can and cannot do in participating in Social Media communities on behalf of the organization.
Social Media policies should honor the organization’s corporate values. In addition, these policies should clearly state that the opinions employees express are their own and do not represent those of the organization. Organizational opinions come from an official spokesperson. Employees must understand that what is placed on Social Media communities is forever.
Good Social Media policies encourage employees to become ‘social advocates’ for the organization. Every employer has employees who are enthusiastic, positive and passionate about their work and about their organization. They should encourage these people to communicate their enthusiasm and knowledge through Social Media participation. Employees can be encouraged to post or tweet good news about the organization. Internal subject-matter experts can be engaged to blog, comment on blogs, and share their expertise in a positive way. One important rule: always identify employees on a Social Media community, as this adds credibility to the organization and to the community.
It is also important to recognize employees’ efforts when they make valuable comments or create positive buzz about the organization. This can be done via special badging on the community or other means. If employees slip up, let them know privately and quickly. Adjust the Social Media policies if needed. Finally, because personality and expertise count more than title in a Social Media community, do not overlook the potential of getting all levels of employees involved.
In my next post, I will discuss additional best practices for Social Media policy that every organization should keep in mind.
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Barton Goldenberg, is the founder and president of ISM Inc., customer-centric strategists/implementers serving best-in-class organizations globally. As a CRM leader for 30 years, he was among the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame. Recognized as a leading “customer-focused” author, his latest book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, is hailed as the roadmap for Social CRM success. Barton is a popular speaker on “maximizing customer relationships to gain market insights, customers and profits”. He is a long-term columnist for CRM Magazine and speaker for CRMevolution and frequently quoted in the media.