“I wish I could convince our staff to send all their tweets to an editor like you before they went live,” a friend said to me recently. He’s the Assistant Director for Legal Affairs for a large university and often has to discuss inappropriate tweet content with other university staff.
He’s not the only one. Many managers and CEOs struggle with how to handle tweets from their employers that could reflect poorly on the brand.
Most people don’t think before they speak, so it’s not surprising they don’t think before they tweet.
I asked what the university’s social media policy said about tweets in bad taste. He said they didn’t a policy! Basically, they apply existing rules about inappropriate content, brand use, communication and non-harassement policies to monitor and police social media activities.
No social media policy in place! Shocked? Don’t be – again, this university isn’t the only one.
One of my tasks for a recent client was to put together a reasonable social media policy. They also struggled with a situation where employees made rude, inappropriate or immature comments on their personal social media platforms and worried it would negatively impact their brand.
To put together a policy that would work for their needs, I tapped into some great examples from companies like Ford and Best Buy highlighted by one of my favorite sites, Hubspot, and assembled an easy to read guide that explained the expectations of the client for their employees.
It’s unrealistic to tell people they can’t have personal accounts, use them during the workday, or discuss difficult topics on their personal social media accounts. But you can ask employees to be clear that not all their statements represent the voice of the brand. Savvy employers can learn a lot from employees by paying attention to their social media content.
Does your company have a policy in place? How did you decide what worked for your organization?