Private and corporate communication occupies the same space nowadays as social networks are used both by people and by companies. However, people who like to use Twitter should not necessarily be allowed to tweet in the name of their company. Every business communicating via social media should introduce social media guidelines to make sure everybody is on the same page.
It goes without saying that people communicating in the name of their company do not do so as private persons. Private opinions or trade secrets are an absolute no-go. What else should be included in corporate social media guidelines?
1. Strategy: Why does the business need social media channels? What channels are suited to serve this purpose? Some channels are better for a certain kind of content than others. Product descriptions for example have no place on social media. Platforms suited for sharing links are Twitter and Facebook. Image-based content might find a place on Instagram or Pinterest.
2. Social Listening: Social media can be used to share and publish content. However, communication is usually a two way street. Use social media to keep track of the latest trends and gain insights into how people perceive your brand. Read more about social listening in our white paper on the subject.
3. Authenticity: Do not ignore critique or act like nothing happened when a mistake was made. Social media are about accessibility. This means companies should try to actively engage with audiences and own up to things that might have gone wrong. The way a business handles negative comments and complaints can benefit its image.
4. Continuity: Every once in a while a post on Facebook is not how social media should be approached. If you want to use social media, commit to it.
5. Law: Pay attention that you do not infringe on anybody's rights. Make sure that you do not infringe somebody's copyrights when you share content online. Needless to say that hate speech etc. is taboo as well.
6. Responsibility: Social media communication is usually in the hands of marketing and PR. In any case: determine who is in charge of social media communications and who has access to individual channels.
7. Monitoring: Is your strategy working? Use tools to keep track of the results.
Tip: Modern marketing automation software can help businesses to comply with their individual guidelines. The software enables people to manage social media accounts from a single interface and usually includes social listening and analysis features. Read more about Social Media Marketing.