Now that you’ve written your organization’s social media policy…you’re only halfway there. I recently finished working on a social media policy for a hospital. The employee guidelines turned out to be over 15 pages, with information that touched up the following areas:
- Employee Access
- Employee Conduct (the Rules of Engagement)
- Account Management of Social Platforms
- IT and Security Issues
- Legal Concerns: specifically HIPAA & privacy as well as Public Record
- Employee Use of Content
We also developed a separate public policy instructing the hospital’s online web communities on how to interact with them on Facebook, Twitter and any of their other social media sites. However, the other critical part of the social media policy exercise is getting employees to read, understand and then embrace the guidelines that are created. Writing the policy is only the first part of the equation. Delivering and supporting the policy the right way, to motivate and create action, is the other.
Here are a few ways to get your employees to embrace the policies that you put in place to guide them.
- By all means create the longer more detailed policy, but also develop a two or three page summary that is a quick and easy way for them to understand the contents of the longer document.
- Build a presentation template so that the policy is in an interactive format rather than a long Word document. For example it could be a PowerPoint or better yet, a Flip Book for them to review.
- Develop a quiz or quick way to evaluate if employees have read the guidelines and if they understand the contents. This quiz should be taken within a certain period of time, so that the policy is read and understood before they engage in social communities (or continue with their previous social networking interactions).
- Develop a survey to ask employees about their knowledge of social media (from social networks like Facebook and micromedia including Twitter to photo and video sharing networks). Try to assess the areas of social media where they may need tutorials and/or more instruction and training.
- Create training classes (webinars or in-person training) to get your employees better acquainted with social media and make them feel for comfortable about their participation.
- Create a social newsletter and distribute it internally so that all employees know what social outreach programs are currently in place, planned for the future and also how employees can become more involved.
- Launch an internal social platform that not only promotes your social media participation externally but allows employees to test social media, collaborate with peers, meet other members of the company and allow them to be privy to ideas and innovation that they normally would not access, without an internal social media platform.
- Consider rewarding social media participation as a part of an employee recognition and/or reward program, so that employees realize that social media is accepted by the brand (there’s buy in from leadership) and is a part of the culture of the company.
These are just a few of the ways that organizations can introduce social media to employees and have them not only reading the policy but also wanting to engage and participate in new ways to benefit the brand. Remember, writing the policy is only the first part. You need your internal brand evangelists to be willing participants and to be that unified voice or army of champions that supports and adds value to the brand’s social presence.