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Get Employee Involvement in Your Social Media

Social Media is now part of most organization’s marketing plan, no matter if they are a B2B tech company, a law firm or a non-profit org.  Social Media tools used include Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  The hope for adding social media to the marketing plan is to create more buzz and discussions about your organization.  For social media to be successful it needs to be integrated with the existing marketing and become part of the culture of the organization.  A culture change takes time to accomplish and will require educating your employees about social media as well as your organization’s plan, guidelines and process for social media.

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Create a document on how social media relates to the employees which will contain the following:

  1. Social Media Strategy/Goals – of the organization so the employees will be aware of them
  2. Social Media Tools – that will be used by organization so the employees will be aware of what they are and how they will be used by the organization
  3. Social Media Process – and how information from various sources gets used in social media so that the employees understand how they can be involved
  4. Social Media Policy and Guidelines – so employees know what and what not to do in regards to social media

Goals: Write down your goals for social media such as integrating it with your traditional marketing activities, improving communication, increase traffic to website, improving perception or in case there is a crisis situation.

Tools: Do a brief overview of some of the social media tools that your organization will be using such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and how they will be used.  Establish a goal of how often these social media networks will be updated and when (days of week and hours during the day).

Processes: Social media activities must be consistent and includes a variety of information that comes from a variety of sources.  The process on how this information comes into the organization and gets posted or updated needs to be documented.  This documentation can be used on educating the employees.

Make note of who will doing the social media at your organization.  Write down their responsibilities and when they should be doing them.  Do not forget that this person should be monitoring mentions of your organization as well as responding to direct messages thru these social media tools.  This person or persons should be also be on the lookout for possible social media content. And don’t forget to have a backup person assigned just in case the social media coordinator is unavailable.  Write down the process for social media posts and updates in your organization.  Separate it by the sources of where the information may come from for the social media content including:

  1. Organization produced information that typically comes from the marketing team such as news releases, events, videos, white papers, etc.
  2. Information that is provided by staff, clients and partners such as employee awards, partner achievements, client achievements, relevant articles related to your industry or organization, community service, etc.
  3. Other information gathered from Google Alerts, Newsletters, Facebook Posts, LinkedIn Discussions, Twitter Searches, Other Twitterers, Email Blasts and other methods

Policies: Write down what are the organization’s thoughts regarding social media.  Here are some examples:

  • Each tool and network has proper and improper uses. Social media is changing the way people work and engage with other staff members, clients, volunteers, donors and partners.
  • Activities in or outside of work that affect the employee’s job performance, the performance of others, or the organization’s interests are a proper focus for organization policy.
  • The organization has a responsibility to effectively manage the organization’s reputation online and to selectively engage and participate in the online conversations that mentions them.

Social media policies and guidelines are intended to guide the employee’s participation, both when they are participating personally, as well as when they are acting on behalf of the organization.  Make sure you provide your employees some policies and guidelines in social media use.  Here are some examples of social media policies and guidelines:

  1. Know and follow the published organization policies
  2. Protect confidential and proprietary information of organization
  3. Fully disclose your affiliation with the organization & be mindful that you are representing the organization
  4. Use common sense and common courtesy in your posts/updates
  5. Be conscious when mixing business and personal
  6. Be responsible to your work and do not let social media affect your day job
  7. Respect copyright regulations
  8. Protect clients, staff, partners and supplier information
  9. Look for compliments and criticism so they can be responded to or passed to appropriate person
  10. Remember that your local posts can have global implications and that the Internet is permanent

Summary: Employees are key to social media success for an organization.  A well crafted social media document discussing social media goals, tools, processes, policies and guidelines will be important in educating employees.  Review this document on a regular basis and always welcome feedback on it.

Let me know how you get your employees involved in social media.

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