Social media has become one of the most effective ways to connect with your stakeholders. It helps brand awareness, engages with communities, builds an audience, and acquires new customers. However, it can also be a significant source of risk if not managed properly.
In this article, we unpack the five top reasons why your organisation needs a social media policy.
What is a Social Media Policy?
Social media policies are a set of rules and guidelines that employers have their employees follow to prevent their teams from making detrimental mistakes in a public arena. They are an essential part of managing an organisation’s online and offline operations.
These policies help companies control how employees portray themselves on social networking sites. This can be very useful for an organisation because it protects the brand, enables better communication with stakeholders and increases trustworthiness.
A recent research study by We Are Social and Kepios showed that the number of social media users in South Africa at the start of 2022 was equivalent to 46.4% of the total population. Therefore, a social media policy is vital for organisations looking to build a long-lasting following and effectively communicate relevant messages to their audiences.
Five reasons your organisation needs a social media policy
1. Protects Brand Reputation
Social media policies encourage employees to use appropriate language and avoid potentially offensive or inflammatory comments about the organisation, its leadership or its clients/customers.
2. Prevent Lawsuits
Social media policies can help prevent lawsuits related to employees’ social media use by outlining precisely what is or isn’t allowed. This allows employers to argue in court that they were not negligent in their failure to enforce the policy if an employee violates it.
3. Protect Company Confidentiality or Proprietary Information
Social media policies can help organisations protect their intellectual property rights and trademarks. Governments have sensitive information about citizens and other countries that they don’t want to be leaked or shared online.
4. Protect Personal Privacy
Having a social media policy can also protect your employees’ privacy. Employees who violate these policies could face disciplinary action or even termination if they break them. This protects your company’s image and reputation, as well as the privacy of your employees and customers.
5. Stay Compliant With Industry Standards
Finally, having a social media policy can help ensure that your company stays compliant with industry standards – especially if you’re in a highly regulated industry like healthcare, finance or any other sector – where there are rules about what kind of information should be shared on social media.
Having a social media policy will help your organisation to plan for the future, have a positive online presence, act responsibly towards its employees and perhaps most importantly- make sure you are ready for any possible scenario that could come up.
Not sure where to start? Let’s discuss how we can provide guidance to set up your own social media policies to save time and money in the long term! Get in touch.