What is Social Media Policy and Why You need One

What is Social Media Policy and Why You need One

social media policy-image

Like Seriously? Don’t tell me you have a Social media Strategy without a Social media Policy?

Because in today’s world of social media, there is a lot of  buzz going on and it can be real hard to gain attention and effectively communicate to your audience and if you do not have a good social media policy that your social media marketing strategy blends into, your social media efforts will be a waste.  

It is such a pity that many Online Marketers do not know this and don’t even know what a social media policy is talk more of implementing it into their strategy.

A Social Media Policy will help you to:

  • Build trust
  • Protect your company and your brand
  • Improve experiences and
  • Add a touch of you to your Social Campaign

As an Online Marketer, or an Online business owner, having a good social media policy is necessary and something that must be developed before your social media strategy.

In fact, it must be said that Social Media policy is necessary the moment you decide to use social media to reach out to your target audience.

So, What exactly is a Social Media Policy?

Too often most people think about social media policies as a list of restrictions that you place on your social media management team and employees or something similar to the “never read” terms and conditions, but in truth Social Media Policy is more than that, in fact the restriction aspect is the least part of it.

A Social Media policy is the principles or guidelines a company adopts towards the use of social media to connect and communicate to its audience.

It goes even deeper to Integrate your company goals, values and message to your social media campaigns and also guide employees who post and manage social channels.

Let’s simplify it…

It is like the attitude you must develop towards your social media or the Habits your company will have when social media is concerned.

Now the best part is… It is based on the goal,values and ethics of your business. 

Take for example,

Maybe you are an affiliate marketer who wants to make money promoting products online, you will mainly want to focus on using social media to promote your affiliate links and reach out to your target audience.

But no one likes being sold to. And some people even hate “Affiliate Marketers”

So what should you do?

Define your goal, value and ethics and incorporate it into your social media strategy.

Now this is where your Social Media policy will save the day.

Your Social Media Policy will tell you…

Even though I need to make money and promote my links to these audience, I must not spam them with my links” (Because I am not a Spammer)

I must do the following:

  • Gain their interest first by providing the right information in my niche
  • Provide some value, by sharing some kind of information that will help them solve some kind of problem
  • Proudly recommend my affiliate products in the “right” manner and at the right times
  • “Make them love and trust me”
  • Respect and represent their best interest regarding the products
  • I must answer and communicate effectively to them
  • etc..

Now do you get the picture?

You might wonder, is this not what your typical Social Media Marketing Strategy will do for you? 

But the answer is “NO”

Social Media Marketing Strategy VS Social Media Marketing Policy? 

Your social media marketing strategy is your plan towards achieving your business goals using social networks. But the social Media Policy is the “how you will do it part”  or “approach” you will develop towards the social media channels.

Let’s use the traditional Office / Business scenario here as an example…

Thomas wants to become a top executive in his organisation, So he said to himself…

What must i do to become the Vice president at my organisation?

  • Know the requirements and meet the requirements
  • Make sure I am qualified for the Office..
  • Know where others are getting it wrong and typically improve
  • Work harder than anyone
  • Be innovative and see how I can Improve daily…
  • Achieve mouth watering results
  • Finally ask for the promotion

Now what approach and attitude will I generally develop and take to this effect?

  • How can I influence the people I work with?
  • What are my strength and value and how can I use them to achieve companies goal
  • How will I treat superiors and supervisors?
  • What about employees under me, how can i help them become better?
  • How do I collaborate more with my Colleagues?
  • etc.

The First list above deals with more of physical attributes that will help Thomas achieve his goal but the second one deals with personal code of conducts, ethics and values that will generally help him stand out.

Now this is exactly is what the “Social media Strategy” and Social Media Policy is like…

The Difference between Social media Policy and Social Media Strategy

Social Media Policy is the code of conduct, principles and ethics of engaging and using social media. It doesn’t focus on Specific channels, tools or outlets, rather, it focuses more on the general practices, values, branding and social ethics and how they can align with the goal you are looking to achieve.

A good Social media policy will outline the approved and expected approach that you and your social media team will develop. It will add a touch of you to every social campaign and message that is being communicated to your audience.

It also deals with critical matters like branding, privacy, confidentiality, legal issues and communication for personal, business or official purpose.

A Social media Policy will guide you, your staff and employees and help you handle any situation well. Because you already have a guideline in place.

The Best part is that it helps you streamline your social media strategy to become more effective and more appealing to your audience and this is why every Online Marketer and Online Business owner needs one.

How you may ask me?

A social Media Policy well developed will put into place a system or procedure that everyone follows when interacting to a prospect, client or customer, it will even put into place, the kind of questions, approach and how you will effectively extract information from them.

And in fact this doesn’t matter whether the person is on Facebook, twitter, instagram, google plus etc. What matters is that we need this particular information and action from him or her and this is how we will go about getting it.

In Simple terms, Social media Policy is focused on the correct use of Social media to achieve your purpose.

“Okay. I think I am getting it now but tell me what exactly is a Social media Strategy then..”

Well, Social media Strategy is the plan to achieve specific goals and objectives using various tools and channels available out there.

A typical Social media Strategy will need to focus on different channels and how it will help in achieving set goals while taking into consideration your social media policy.

Social media Strategy talks about attracting new users, generating buzz, increasing sales etc. There is always a goal in mind with every social media strategy.

In Future Posts, I will talk specifically about social Media Strategy and how to effectively develop one. 

By the Way…

Why do I need a Social Media Policy?

I am not a company, I am a person… Do  I really need one?  

Now this is where many people get it wrong…

Some people think that it is just for the big brands and Companies. However, every person using social media as a means to connect to a set of audience needs one.

For the online marketer and online business owner, you must understand that even if you are currently the CEO, COO, and SMM of your Online marketing business, it won’t stay like that forever.

As you make more money and scale up your business, you will need more hands and the first place you will need someone to attend to is your social Media.

If you don’t have a Social Media Policy in place, what will you do then?

The person can just start posting anyhow they want and using their intuition and “creativity” to communicate to your audience. Now a time will definitely come, the personality, branding which you have built your business with, will begin to fade.

However, when you have a policy in place, a Social Media Manager or virtual assistant doing the job will simply blend in and even if they add their own touch of creativity, you will be sure that it is in line with your voice, personality and brand.

So in Summary: 

A Social media policy ensures the correct use of social media for you and your entire business. It is a must have for anyone or business using social media to connect to their target audience.

While it is completely different from a Social media Strategy, both are important and will help you in achieving your goal.

A Social media Policy is necessary, because it helps you maintain consistency, develop relationships and add branding and personality to your social media campaign.

Now have you seen why a good social media policy is Necessary for you?

Whether you are handling your social media by yourself, outsourcing it to a Virtual Assistant or SMM, or you have a dedicated team that handles it for you, A good social Media policy is a must and a necessary part of your social media marketing.

Get one today!

P.S. By the way here is  to develop one now

 

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