Last year, I headed up the effort at MGA to craft an online communications policy. What started as a discussion around individual needs (what’s appropriate to post or mention publicly) soon evolved into a discussion of MGA’s online brand. The end result represents the results of both conversations.
A policy that targets individual employees is a given, at least to me – they want to do the right thing, and this can help them in that. A bigger challenge is how a company or organization is going to operate within the social media space. How will you ensure that your offline brand is consistently reflected in your online presence?
If you’re about to write a social media plan, or launch your company into Twitter, Facebook, or start a blog, you should have a policy first. Before figuring out where you’re going to have a presence (or which sites you’ll simply monitor), here are ten questions to ask as you craft your policy:
1. Who is our audience?
2. What is success and how will we measure it?
3. What are we going to talk about? What’s our “voice?”
4. How are we going to manage our accounts?
5. How often will we check our sites and who is responsible for responding to comments?
6. When and how are we going to respond to negative comments?
7. How will we disclose information regarding our client or partner relationships?
8. Are there public policy issues that we want to comment on, or specific items on which we won’t comment?
9. What are the regulatory considerations of our participating in these sites?
10. What’s the long-term look like – where will we be in six, 12 or 18 months, and are our social media efforts designed to be sustainable for this time frame?
Before your organization enters the social media space, be sure you’ve considered these and other questions. What other areas have you come across when crafting your company’s social media policy?