The White Report

Catherine White connects and creates worth through powerful story telling

The 7 Keys to an A List Social Media Policy

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The state of being in love and that of having a strong sense of purpose are identical. Each state is defined by various drives, not least the drive to acquire the object of it’s desire. cupid

The first stages of a social media campaign can have the excitement and romance of akin to a love affair.

Nevertheless, those who’ve implemented a social media policy early testify, that first rush quickly gave way under a mountain of email or complaints one’s performance is not what it was.

Research tells us the key ingredient to successful relationships are healthy boundaries. People in relationships with firm boundaries are happier and secure. Whereas low morale and insecurity are the mark of fuzzy boundaries.

Social media policies are no different. They are documents that define stakeholder boundaries across the entire organization. Employees with incentives and clearly defined roles are less likely to up and take the company capital in a fit of rage or revenge.

So getting down to it, what are the elements of an A list Social media policy?

Ambition
Set goals. Short to medium and long term goals focus a campaign. Morale and relationships are enhanced when performance incentives are part and parcel of company policies. Don’t hold back with appreciation and rewards.

Audience
social-media-conversationSocial media is relational. Relationships with customers, relationships with clients, relationships with regulators and shareholders. Policies need to enhance not stifle company culture, so keep policies customer focused.

Add Value
In a medium where so much information is available free, business’ need to think creatively and create worth. For instance Pizza Hut provide time limited offers to customers who mention specific tweets.

Authentic
Campaigns that win are those with real people behind the scenes. Real people buy from real people, so keep it real.

Action
Relationships thrive when time is invested, which is certainly the case with social media. Policies need to clearly outline tasks, time lines, procedures and key performance indicators.

Agility
Because social media is evolving it’s a steep learning curve, so stay flexible. Let’s face it, what can go wrong often does, so worst case scenario policies are critical.

Be willing to admit when policies are not working. Give staff ownership by inviting feedback and including them in policy reviews.

Accountability:
Employees are responsible for the organizations reputation, therefore employers must provide precise guidelines with no room for interpretation.

Company orientation programs need to include basic social media guidelines. Staff need to be aware of the risks associated with leaked intellectual property.

Additionally, staff need to understand and accept companies are within their rights to monitor staff social networking activities, during and outside office hours.

Relationships work when both parties are in agreement. Certainly, employees feel secure when they’re assured contractual agreements not only preserve the companies reputation, but also safe guards their rights.

Boundaries, policies or guidelines … the language only reflects the organization. Even so, the companies driven by a sense of purpose, adapt to change, and adopt A List practices.

Developing a Social Media policy is easier when its crafted by people with people in mind.


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Written by Catherine White

August 17, 2009 at 11.27 pm08

2 Responses

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  1. [...] While the New Zealand employee successfully sued her employer for wrongful dismissal, how much money could have been saved had the company the foresight to include email guidelines in a social media policy. [...]

  2. [...] for wrongful dismissal, how much time and money could have been saved had the company implemented a social media policy complete with email [...]


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