Justin calls out that marketers want to focus on the sexy part of social media. But, we need to take care of our own house. Justin worked in close partnership with the Legal, IT and HR departments at Citrix to develop and roll out a social media policy. The first version of the policy was initially for the marketing team. It was later updated and rolled out to all 9000 employees and translated into six languages. The policy became mandatory under the corporate compliance program which is required by all employees.
Justin points out that brands have to protect themselves and their employees in using social media. He referenced that the National Labor Relations Board determined in 2012 after investigating several companies that social media policies lacked protection for the employee after uncovering several wrongful termination cases. The result is the NLRB now requires corporate social media policies to balance corporate risk management with an employee’s free speech rights on social media.
The purpose of a social media policy is not to be big brother. It’s designed to give employees confidence on what they can and can not say or do in social media. For example, the “don’t be stupid” principle should be obvious. Employees should not divulge confidential information about their employer. One area that companies need to clearly explain is the difference between being an employee brand advocate and an official company spokesperson. A spokesperson goes through media training and is empowered to speak on behalf of a brand.
As an example of a high profile social media policy, Justin referenced the Coca-Cola social media guidelines. It’s simple, easy to read and available for public access. Justin warns against doing a “copy/paste” from a policy you access online. Rather, Justin advises each company to develop their own policy with exec sponsorship and collaboration between the Marketing, Legal, HR and IT departments.
Justin provide several “do’s and don’ts” when developing an enterprise social media policy. Tune into this episode to learn from Justin the importance of truly breaking down corporate silos to empower employees in a social business.
Justin is the co-author of Facebook Marketing: Designing Your Next Marketing Campaign. You can learn more about Justin’s book and more at his website where you’ll learn how he applies his curiosity about life to his work, and his hobbies which include fitness and culinary cooking.