There are a lot of things to consider about when it comes to employees, but you may have overlooked this one: social media. Do you have a social media policy for employees? What can they post about you and your business? And why should you even consider encouraging your employees to post about your company? Here we’ll explain it all.
Why you should encourage your employees to post about your business:
There are some great reasons why your employees can be a great resource for your business. Employees have an average of 1090 social connections through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If your employee is posting positive messages about your business (e.g. awards won, new products, personalised recommendations), these are over 1000 potential customers that you’d probably not be able to reach through business social media accounts!
Furthermore, people who follow your employees on social media are 7 times more likely to make a purchase than those who are just following your official pages. This makes a lot of sense – a Nielsen study showed that 84% of people trust recommendations from friends, family, colleagues over other forms of marketing. So your employees have a lot of untapped potential!
Why you should also use caution:
However, there are always risks when it comes to employees representing your company on social media. It is possible for employees to misrepresent your values, make promises that you can’t keep, or leak confidential or sensitive information.
However, these are all worse-case scenarios, and they can all be avoided by giving your employees straightforward guidelines to follow.
How to guide employees:
The best way to ensure that you and your employees are all on the same page is to create a social media policy for employees to follow. This is a document that can help your employees decide how (or if!) they represent you online, and it can be as formal or informal as you like. Among other things, it should consider:
- If employees can disclose their workplace in their bios (and if so, if they should write a disclaimer stating that their views are not necessarily those of their employer)
- If employees are allowed to engage with customers mentioning your company on social media
- How employees should deal with negative comments regarding their workplace
- How employees can ensure that they are following GDPR guidelines (e.g. not disclosing the private information of customers)
Here you can also emphasise to your employees that sharing updates about your company doesn’t just benefit you but can also benefit them as well! It’ll establish them as active and enthusiastic and as industry thought leaders. Particularly keen employees will probably have multiple social media accounts – one for their public/work life, and the other for personal affairs. This will make your job easier, as you can suggest only posting about work on the public pages, as these usually will concern the employees’ work anyway.
Furthermore, it’s important to emphasise to your employees that while you would love to see participation on social media, they do not have to post about their workplace on their social media pages. Some employees will have little interest, which is totally fine! Making this a part of their job or as an extra chore is never a good idea, because the posts won’t be authentic and may even make your employee feel resentful.
Finally, we suggest that you end your social media policy with a very clear statement such as “Be real and use your judgement”. Really highlight this point, and everyone will be on board.
Want to get started on your social media policy today? Here are some great examples of social media policies to have a look at. And if you have any questions about how to get your company’s social media off the ground, you can contact us!