Social Media for Managers

by Theresa Truscott

Common questions

  1. What do I need to know about social media?
  2. How do I develop a social media policy?
  3. What are some examples of a social media policy?
  4. What do I do about an employee who spends all their time on Facebook, Twitter…?
  5. A member of staff has posted some inappropriate material; what do I do?
  6. How do I deal with negative online comments or reviews?
  7. How do I find out about negative comments?
  8. Can I restrict access to social media sites?

 

1. What do I need to know about social media?

Social media is here to stay. In order to stay competitive, an organisation must adapt and plan how to most effectively use this set of tools. It is important to realise that social media is more than just a way for staff to distract themselves from ‘actual work’. It can be productive and prove a powerful marketing technique when used appropriately.

Managers need to remember several things when addressing the question of social media:

  • Don’t be afraid of it!
  • Learn about it
  • Create a policy
  • Clarify expectations to staff
  • Enforce the social media policy.

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2. How do I develop a social media policy?

There is no difference between a social media policy and any other policy currently enforced in your organisation. In fact, much of it can be addressed within current policy, such as abuse of company time (for staff spending too much time on personal matters, such as phone calls).

Keys to a successful social media policy include:

  • Identify who is responsible for managing and participating in social media
  • Establish ground rules for employee participation in social media
  • Expressly state examples of do’s and don’ts as well as the company’s response to a breach of policy.

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3. What are some examples of a social media policy?

It is important to note that when it comes to establishing a social media policy, there is no need for a business to reinvent the wheel. There are plenty of accessible examples of policies online. However, a business should not ‘copy and paste’ a policy as it may not directly address their culture or specific needs. Tailor these policies to precisely meet your own requirements.

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4. What do I do about an employee who spends all their time on Facebook, Twitter...?

This situation should be handled in the same way as any other breach of policy, such as poor time keeping.

First, be clear of the facts. Is the person actually spending time during work hours or is it just their break time? If your company includes social media in a marketing plan, is the individual using personal accounts or is the activity part of their role to develop new avenues of customer engagement? Most importantly, is their social media use impacting their productivity or that of other people?

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5. A member of staff has posted some inappropriate material; what do I do?

Depending on the circumstances you may want to handle the member of staff in one of the following ways:

  • Retrain them in the appropriate use of social media
  • Offer them coaching or counselling, if necessary
  • Take them through a disciplinary process.

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6. How do I deal with negative online comments or reviews?

It can be hard to read negative comments and it is the fear of receiving these that puts people off starting in social media. Just remember that people will be saying these things whether you are online or not. It is better to know what they are saying and to be able to respond to them.

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7. How do I find out about negative comments?

Business profiles in Google Places and many other business listings locations around the web do not permit the business owner to remove negative comments, so it is important that all public listings that allow reviews are monitored and responded to. What is far worse than seeing negative comments on a business listing is seeing negative comments that are not addressed by the business!

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8. Can I restrict access to social media sites?

A blanket ban on internet access can be very limiting for the company. It means that people cannot easily do research that would make them more effective and efficient in their role. It also means that certain channels are closed to the company for customer care.

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