In my past entries I explained the four things I learning while implementing a corporate social media strategy.
4) Social Media Needs to Involve Others, but There’s a Catch
My final point or tip I learn is that everyone needs to participate in social media, otherwise your efforts will be 1) minimized and 2) only seen as a marketing or communications “thing.” Let’s be clear that I am not advocating that everyone in your organization needs to “tweet” or post your company’s business on their Facebook. Rather instead of focusing on the 100 percent, focus on those who are interested and want to participate. If they “raise their hand” make sure your provide them with social media guidelines or a playbook. This doesn’t need to be the length of War and Peace, however, should provide your employees with guidance on what not to do and what is considered acceptable.
A good example is Red Cross Social Media Playbook.
If that’s too in-depth, here is what I focused on with our company (outline):
- When You Engage
- Procedures ( essentially, what you should and should not be doing)
- Our style guide on social media
- How we response to flagrant or negative comments (response)
The above may be too much or too little, but ultimately you want to give your people some guidance before letting them loose. While social media may be free, the impact on your brand is forever. Anything that lives on Twitter or LinkedIn is for everyone to not only see, but also make an impression.
Ultimately, while it is create to have hundreds of your employees be your brand ambassadors (think Zappos), you still need to tread with caution. Not because your folks will do the unthinkable, but because if you do not set the expectation of what you expect from them, you will be disappointed or worse embarrassed. Not everyone thinks before before they post. You would be surprise on the number of inappropriate or ridiculous posts I have seen with folks who thought they were living the brand.
It is worth a conversation with your HR team too. Make sure you work with your internal stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page.