In the digital age, having a social media policy for your team to follow is crucial. According to leading social media marketing company Hootsuite, 72% of Americans use at least one social media platform yet 63% say their employer has no social media policy.

A social media policy is a guideline for an organization's social media use by offering employees an outlet for learning about how to use social media personally and professionally.

Here is what to include in a social media policy:

1. Official and unofficial roles:

There should be a difference between representing the company on a corporate account versus an employee’s personal account.  And of course, the corporate account likely has a detailed strategy associated with it.

Outline what is acceptable for employees to say on behalf of the company on social media. Internal stakeholders’ online presence can help to build your brand by driving marketing activities and awareness.

2. Acceptable content

What are the do’s and don'ts to posting content online? Offer some examples, especially when referencing the company. Can they use your handle in their references? 

3. Crisis procedure

To preserve the reputation of the company, a social media policy should be clear on what to do, who to reach out to and what counts as a social media crisis.

4. Legal restrictions

Stay compliant with the law with details varying from country and state. Three recommendations to mention are: copyright, privacy and confidentiality.

There are plenty of reasons to create a social media policy, including: :

  • Manage public relations for any crisis that arises
  • Build your brand identity across digital media channels
  • Hiring and finding top talent

But their can be pitfalls too, ensure your policy outlines what is unacceptable.

Younger workers are more likely to find information on social media that changes their opinion of a coworker and company. A negative social media public relations crisis could result in a negative mindset towards a company. But a positive social media presence with engaged employees can have positive impact on your recruiting efforts.