Implement a Social Media Policy: Make Your Employees Brand Ambassadors

Written by Marina Guz who works as Junior Consultant at Mindjumpers.



Empower your Employees to Become your Social Media Ambassadors – Implement a Social Media PolicyEvery day, you are faced with multiple considerations concerning your organization’s social media strategy. In order to ensure effective stakeholder communication and avoid any unfortunate situations, it is a good idea to create a social media policy for your employees.

In the following, we are going to outline what exactly a social media policy is, what the benefits are from implementing one in your organization and which elements it can include.

What is a social media policy?

A social media policy is a corporate code of conduct that provides guidelines for employees who post content on the Internet either as part of their job or as a private person.

It ensures that your employees are aware of the DO’s and DON’Ts and communicate your brand message in the right way – according to the standards you set.



How does a social media policy benefit your company?

A social media guide can benefit your organization in many ways, but most importantly it can contribute to:

  • Providing structure for employees.
  • Protecting your brand and business.
  • Educating and guiding employees to being “ambassadors”.
  • Creating value for the organization as employees know the right way to act, which reflects positively on the brand.
  • Showing a modern and transparent company.

What elements can be included in your social media policy?

Your social media policy can encompass several different elements, tailored to your preference and your business processes. However, we believe it can be a good idea to take the following topics into account:

  • Confidentiality – What type of information are the employees allowed to discuss? Which information is confidential?
  • Governance – Do you actively encourage employees to engage in conversations regarding your brand?
  • Authorization – Are all employees authorized to create social media content?
  • Transparency – Are employees required to identify themselves as employees in your company when discussing topics relevant to the organization?
  • Responsibility – How are your employees supposed to act on social media? Consider behavior in terms of misrepresentations. Can employees e.g. discuss politics/religions?
  • Value – Everything employees publish online reflects upon the brand. How do employees add most value?

Be certain to formulate the policy as a guide to what your employees can and should do on social media. You should empower them to use social media effectively, rather than setting formal rules and restrictions. Add best practice examples, and get inspired by companies like Cisco, IBM, Intel, or Microsoft.

How can you distribute your social media guidelines?

There are multiple ways to communicate your social media policy to your employees. You can send it via e-mail, upload it on your organization’s Intranet, use it during on-boardings of new employees or simply hand every employee a copy of it when becoming a part of your business.

However, you can also try to think outside the box and e.g. create an introductory video or set up the policy in a playful way as an e-learning tool. The more creative you are when communicating the policy to your employees, the more likely it is that they will easily remember the different elements.

For more inspiration, check out the ‘Social Media Governance’ website with a database of over 100 social media policies.

Have you already implemented a social media policy in your organization?


Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?

 

Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.

 

Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.

 

The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.

 

Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.

 

A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.

 

Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.

 

At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.

 

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

 

*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!