A social media policy helps to provide a set of guidelines for governing the how employees use social media as the voice of a business. It can help to provide a blueprint for what should happen in the event of a crisis and assist with outlining how social media should be dealt with on a whole. However, many self storage business owners do not give much thought to a social media policy. The truth is people often only think about what they would do in the event of a crisis when they are actually in the middle of one. Due to how quickly information spreads in the social media arena, planning ahead is not only smart but also absolutely essential. Here are some tips on how to create and implement a social media
· Find your voice – Determine the tone of the social media policy before writing it. Do you want it to be a set of rules that employees are bound to follow or are you setting out to suggest best practices that employees are free to interpret and follow. Sometimes the word ‘policy’ might create too strict of an atmosphere so you can possibly replace with ‘tips’ or ‘guidelines’ if you are trying to go for a more relaxed tone.
· Examine legal implications – As with any other employee policy, ensure that you have covered all your bases in the event that you can be subject to legal action. There have been many instances where people have been fired because of the use of social media. If the policy dictates how your self storage employees should conduct themselves and there are consequences for non-compliance, then ensure that you are legally allowed to take adverse action.
· Distinguish between policies and tips for site usage – Keep the set of rules different from the guidelines about how to use each social media site. If some of your self storage workers are not as well versed in social media as others, you can host a workshop where you can bring everyone up to speed on how to use each social media site. The policy should outline how employees should conduct themselves when speaking as the representative of your self storage brand.
· Review and update regularly – Since social media changes so quickly, your policy should adhere to this general rule as well. When you first write the policy, try to keep it in general as much as possible. By doing so, you lessen the risk of the rules becoming outdated too often. For instance, Facebook recently changed its EdgeRank system. If a social media policy referred to it, then that would now be obsolete. Therefore, instead of naming specific items in the Terms of Service, your policy can simply refer that it should be followed in general.
Social media policies can help to encourage the responsible use of social media in your self storage business. However, keep in mind that social media should be used to create a creative and engaging conversation so implementing rules that are too stringent can hinder your goals.