It’s that time again. It’s the end of the year where we assess and realign things. Do you have a social media policy in place for your company? If so, how often do you review it? Now would be a good time.
If you don’t have a corporate social media policy, now would be a good time to implement one.
Company Assets and Year-End Reviews
Public or private, a company’s market value or equity is based directly on the assets it retains. It’s a good business practice to regularly assess company assets.
Assets both tangible (like cash, property, and buildings) and intangible (like your digital reputation, policies and procedures, and social media presence) are directly responsible for a company’s market value.
Intangible assets such as digital properties, all your content and your online reputation are better protected when there’s a company-wide, written social media policy. Reviewing your policy on an annual basis is a best practice.
Just as a regular review of revenue, expenses and operations brings many benefits, so does a social media policy review.
7 Reasons to Do a Year-End Social Media Policy Review
There’s a lot of angst and fear still present with social media. An annual review takes some of the sting out. You can’t control everything but with a good policy in place, you’ll leave a lot less up to chance.
1. Reaffirm Company Guidelines for Employee Use of Social Media
Upon hire, each employee should have signed an acknowledgment of receipt of the company’s social media policy.
A process to conduct annual reviews of company policy on everything is always a good idea but it’s crucial to social media. Why? Because social media changes often and a company’s social media policy should evolve along with it.
2. Safeguards your social media accounts
We’ve all witnessed one or more catastrophes when companies haven’t set up their social media accounts correctly…and some barely make it out alive.
One of the benefits of doing a year-end social media policy review is you can examine each account, figure out if you’re set up correctly and make a course correction if necessary.
There are specific best practices to setting up and maintaining social media accounts. First order of business is to only allow company domain emails to be designated Admins on your accounts.
- Always provide your social media manager (or really any employee) with a work email, one that you have control over, such as [email protected]
- It’s fine to use something like, “[email protected],” as long as the email is hosted on your own server and your IT department controls it.
- Any designated Admin should only be able to use their work email address to access your social media accounts. If they ever leave, you’ll have control over it and change the password immediately.
3. Provides an Insurance Policy in the Event of a Social Media Crisis
We’ve seen enough social media debacles at Kruse Control in the last ten years to know that it’s not a matter of if, but when it could happen to anyone. Are you prepared should it happen to you?
The first step is determine and document what a social media crisis is.
Having a company-wide plan in place will empower you to act quickly and effectively when a crisis begins. Instead of wasting time debating how to handle things on social media, you’ll be prepared to take action and prevent the crisis from growing out of control.
4. Helps Avoid Legal Trouble and Exposed Liabilities
There’s a lot of pressure for companies to communicate online today. The use of social media brings about certain responsibilities to mitigate liability.
Some of the places where a company could get into trouble are:
- Using work without permission
- Defaming competitors
- Promises not kept
- User privacy
- Contest violations
Pro Tip: The use of social media increases the risk of accidentally committing libel, slander, copyright infringement, and privacy invasion increases. All those tweets and posts can lead to lawsuits, but a General Liability Insurance policy can help. It includes protection for “advertising injury,” which can cover claims from your competitors or the public.
5. Minimizes Accidental Leaks of Confidential Information
Social media is a growing security risk as a source of data leaks and misinformation. Vigilance and training are crucial to minimizing risks for individuals and the company.
Employees using personal electronic devices discuss all sorts of work-related topics on social media — both during and outside of work hours and locations. As a result, confidential data can leak directly.
Another security concern about social media — which continues to make headlines — is that criminals can exploit social media to rapidly disseminate “fake news” and other forms of misinformation. Such devious tricks impact more than just politics: they can be used to manipulate stock prices, harm personal or business reputations, or even cause people to take actions that harm innocent parties while helping criminals.
In Kruse Control’s clients’ custom-tailored social media policies, we spell out the consequences that come from accidental leaks of confidential information. We determine where risks lie and recommend actions to prevent them.
6. Protects a Company’s Digital Reputation
Businesses around the world ranked damage to their reputation or brand, magnified by social media, as their top risk management concern, according to the Aon Global Risk Management Survey.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” -Warren Buffett
This can be especially true today, as high-profile crises including cyberattacks, product recalls, and damaging social media posts become more prevalent. In this environment, protecting reputation and actively managing risk can take on strategic importance. Yet for many organizations, managing reputation presents challenges.
Many companies do not have a written process exclusively for reputation management. Truthfully, until social media showed up, it wasn’t a priority. Reputation management was once handled by the marketing and PR people.
Today, every employee is a marketer. A review of social media policy will support ongoing efforts to build and protect a company’s digital reputation by spotlighting internal practices and process.
7. Keeps HR in the Loop on Marketing
More and more, companies are using social media as a recruiting tool. With the addition of social selling into the sales process, it’s easy to see that HR is fast becoming a necessary participant in the social media marketing process.
There’s a growing trend of hiring employees who already have a current social media following because they are influencers and are often seen as subject matter experts, especially if they’re in sales positions.
A considered review of social media policies and procedures should include an update on how HR folds into social media and outlines their stake in the decision making around social media.
If you haven’t done a social media policy review for your company, or you need a policy for your organization, I’m here to help. Contact me >>here<< and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.