More and more companies are taking on social media usage at the office, helping employees improve communication and collaboration in a safe environment. By planning ahead, social media for business can do wonders for any business’ operations and ease its way towards better communication. Here are a few things you should not do when starting social media for business.
Neglect to create social media guidelines
To make sure that employees use social media for its intended business purpose, you must make sure to create guidelines that will tell them what is and is not acceptable. The same way the company has rules regarding the use of its business telephone, social media must have regulations as well. Here is a sample from Intel’s Social Media Guidelines, taken from their website:
These are the official guidelines for participating in social media for Intel. If you’re an Intel employee or contractor creating or contributing to blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds, or any other kind of social media, these guidelines are for you.
Your honesty—or dishonesty—will be quickly noticed in the social media environment. Please represent Intel ethically and with integrity.
Make sure all that transparency doesn’t violate Intel’s confidentiality or legal guidelines for commercial speech—or your own privacy. Remember, if you’re online, you’re on the record—everything on the Internet is public and searchable. And what you write is ultimately your responsibility.
3. Use Common Sense
Perception is reality and in online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. Just by identifying yourself as an Intel employee, you are creating perceptions about your expertise and about Intel. Do us all proud.
Do not establish what it is for
You can tell your employees that they are allowed to use social media as long as it is within the guidelines but you must not forget to let them know why they can use it. Make sure to tell them what company goals are supposed to be met when using it. Here is a sample of IBM’s objectives, taken from their website:
To learn: As an innovation-based company, we believe in the importance of open exchange-between IBM and its clients, and among the many constituents of the emerging business and societal ecosystem—for learning. Social computing is an important arena for organizational and individual development.
To contribute: IBM—as a business, as an innovator and as a corporate citizen—makes important contributions to the world, to the future of business and technology, and to public dialogue on a broad range of societal issues. Because our business activities provide transformational insight and high-value innovation for business, government, education, healthcare and nongovernmental organizations, it is important for IBM and IBMers to share with the world the exciting things we’re learning and doing.
Forget to create a manual
It does not necessary have to be a thick book with every little thing outlined but you must release, at the very least, a memo that outlines how they must use social media. Baker & Daniels released a memo regarding their social media policy and here is its introduction, taken from the Publications on their website:
Effective Date: April 19, 2011
Social Media Policy
B&D Personnel means all partners, principals, attorneys, professionals, paralegals, staff members, interns and temporary employees of B&D.
As a law firm, Baker & Daniels is held to a different standard when it comes to its online communications. Certain ethical rules must be followed by all B&D Personnel participating in social media to keep Baker & Daniels from violating these rules.