One thing every business or organization needs to do when implementing a social media strategy is to create social media guidelines. The easiest part of the process is adding social media to your business as a method of reaching your audience. The hardest part is defining what you want to do and it is even harder knowing what not to do.
Here are some considerations for creating social media guidelines.
Define The Purpose Of Your Social Media Efforts
Why do you feel the need to use social media? Is there a group you want to reach or a product or service you want to promote? Do you need to grow your business so your audience can find you online? Define the reason; write it down for those directly involved.
Recognize Who Your Audience Is
You may have one thing in mind when deciding on creating social media avenues to communicate online, but it is possible your audience will be broader than what you intend. Is your current plan flexible enough to address this?
One or more individuals may be responsible for posting messages. Ensure that they have a clear vision of your social media goals. They should understand company policy and procedures and have an understanding of what they can be held accountable for if your disclaimer releases you from liability. Give examples of what is expected and also consider identifying what would constitute inappropriate posting.
Remain Active And Identify Yourself
Your audience relies on an active community; as such your guidelines should have a commitment to remain active. Let your community know who you are. Relevant individuals should be active in any social media communities you build. Social media is not a one-sided broadcast; it is a give and take. The most unsatisfying communities are ones set up with expectations the community is your social media voice.
Accept That Guidelines Can Evolve
Remaining active in social media will reap many rewards. Most important, over time you’ll learn about your audience and more about what your business needs to communicate. It is quite possible that what you learn will mean you have to redefine the purpose of your social media efforts.