Overlooked Social Media Items that Every Organization Should Think About…NOW!
I find that companies often overlook these 2 items when putting together a social media strategy or planning how to implement social media into the company marketing plan: a Social Media Policy & a Social Media Crisis Plan.
It is crucial to have a Social Media Policy in place. This documentation is a great reference for employees, and management alike, to look at when engaging on social media platforms. Having a well documented and widely circulated social media policy within the company can help prevent a social media crisis.
A Social Media Crisis can come from within the company and then go viral out on the Internet. In case the Social Media Policy did not discourage bad social media behavior (or heaven forbid, no SM policy was there at all) then having a solid social media crisis plan in place can mean the difference between riding the storm out with ease or going down the Paula Dean road of tears.
Below is an outline of some key points to think about when putting together a social media policy. I also encourage that a team of marketing, legal, and management come together with input because that should help ensure a strong, healthy set of guidelines.
Social Media Policy
- How are employees supposed to use SM
- Encourage them to share company info
- Don’t force them to be on SM
- Determine company advocates
- Reiterate the HR employee policy that basically should say “Don’t do or say things that will hurt other employees or the company.”
As I mentioned above, a team thats consists of people from marketing, management, human resources, and legal, needs to put together a social media policy. That same group also needs to review critical items regarding a possible social media crisis. The last thing a company wants to do is try and assemble a crisis team during an actual crisis. To compare, that’s like figuring out who to call as your house is burning to the ground.
Here is a short list of items to consider when creating and documenting a corporate social media crisis plan.
Social Media Crisis Plan
- Assign basic roles
- Crisis Team Leader
- Social Media Data Analyst(s)
- Community Manager(s)
- Determine company staff members of Crisis Management team
- Crisis Management Team members
- Human Resources Department Head
- Other important Department Heads
- Discover and document possible warning signs or events that could trigger a Social Media crisis
- Develop a grading system to determine the level of crisis
- i.e. 1 is ‘Not Bad’ and 9 is ‘Complete Meltdown’
Start by looking over these items, then think about things that are unique to your business and include those in the plan too. Also, include the social media policy in your company roster of important documentation. Having the social media policy will definitely help to prevent a disaster, and if one does break out, the social media crisis plan will help calm down the powers-that-be and enable the company to react and positively affect the disaster outcome.
If you have any questions about putting together a social media policy or crisis plan, feel free to contact Harvester Solutions. We are happy to help businesses get on solid ground when it comes to social media.