Social Media Policies for Employees

Social Media Policies for Employees

What’s your company’s policy?

Do you know? Do your employees know?

As with any policy, in order to be effective, this needs to be a?firm set of rules.

It needs to be an organized, well thought out list that is written down, shared?with employees, updated over time, and posted around the workplace as a constant reminder.

Enforcing a social media policy is important in keeping your company (and brand) safe!

A firm policy?will protect your brand, while empowering?employees. A social media policy tells?the employee what is accepted in the workplace, as well as?what is expected from them. Laying out these guidelines?will?give the employee a sense of creative freedom; by having everything laid out, they feel confident in their work and know?they are doing exactly what they are supposed to be.

Your company has likely developed a certain?voice, a certain?character. It has become a?brand…

Keep your brand and message consistent.

This will ensure your brand’s voice, vision, and character come through loud and clear.?A social media policy will make this easy!?Use the policy to outline expectations of what your brand’s voice and tone should be. Images, as well as copy, should follow one unified voice. Keeping your brand consistent will help you draw in your ideal market and allow customers to really connect with you.

Do you have public-facing employees? Make sure they are well aware of the company’s policy and “voice” and that their public image fits with yours. Consider encouraging them to create a Twitter handle that includes a reference to your brand. For example, if you have employees interacting with the public on behalf of the company, they could create a Twitter handle such as:?@”Co.Name,EmployeeName” (Ex: @AmazonTiffany). This makes it clear that Tiffany is an Amazon representative.

What to include in your Social Media Policy

Your policy should cover?how your company uses social media, as well as how employees are expected to use their?own accounts. Here are some ideas on what to include:

  • General guidelines for overall conduct. Use phrases such as “Act respectfully, amongst both customers and peers” or “Be the solution, not the problem.”
  • Stress the importance of confidentiality. What is your company’s policy on new product releases? What’s your policy for company news?
  • Employees should never reveal or discuss sensitive, private information – not about the company, other employees, or your customers.
  • Be very clear in describing the?brand, the?character, and the?voice. Give examples of what kinds of messages, wording, and images to use, and explain how to talk about specific products within your portfolio.
  • Humor posts can be good, but stress to your employees that it has to be appropriate and relatable to your brand. (Ex: Is politics somewhere you want to go…?!)
  • It’s important?that your employees know how to act, but they also have to know how to?re-act. How should they handle negative content that they see on your company’s page? How should they handle any negative comments about your brand that they come across? What procedures should they follow?
  • Include etiquette guidelines that explain how employees should respond to complaints respectfully.
  • You might want to clarify which sites employees may/may not visit at work.
  • Do you want your employees to claim accountability on their own social media profiles? For example, should they write something like an “opinions are my own” disclaimer?
  • A lot of people’s personal profiles link to their employer, stating where they work. Do you think employees should “behave” a certain way on their own personal accounts? They are, after all, public representatives of your brand…

Assign roles.

To ensure?a successful social media policy, assign?employees to specific tasks that they will be held responsible for. Here are some basic roles that should be filled:

  • Training, education, and implementation of the policy to new and current employees
  • Branding guidelines (voice, character, images)
  • Social media post approval process
  • Online customer service?guidelines and protocols (how to act and re-act to both good and bad comments)
  • Safety and security of the company/brand
  • Legal issues (always?credit original sources if sharing or borrowing content)
  • Maintaining?a logical, effective, up-to-date social media?policy

Here are some examples of social media policies!

This is Adidas Group’s social media policy:?Adidas Group

Here is one by AP (much more in depth than Adidas’):?Associated Press

More:?Reuters’,?Shift Communications

The following is more formal, as a governmental policy:?NYC Department of Education

A healthcare industry example:?Mayo Clinic

And last but not least, the following article is super?helpful because it gives a list of big brands’ social media policies, then goes on to discuss where each one succeeds and/or fails.:?Need Sample Social Media Policies? Here Are 7 to Inspire Yours

Social media policy templates, for you 🙂

Templates provide an AWESOME starting ground for your own company’s policy.

This one is short and sweet, and super clear:?Template Sample

Here’s another:?Workable.com Template

So, how would you define?your company’s social media policy? Good, bad, old, non-existent? It’s time to get a solid, updated policy in place so that you and your team can start curating great content (AND SHARING IT SAFELY!), today. 😉

 

? Mandy

The Importance of Newsletters

e-newsletters

e-newsletters

The Importance of Newsletters

How do you stay connected to your fans? How do they stay informed and “in the loop”? Is there a particular method you use to reach out to them? If you need to send them a message, how do you do it? …Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, newsletters, snail mail?

If you’re relying strictly on social media to communicate with and build connections with your fans, that’s probably not enough…

You need a direct?mode of communication to your fans. You need a way to send them messages that they will receive right in their inbox.

E-Newsletters.

E-newsletters are an essential piece of your marketing plan. It’s not safe?to just?assume you are connecting with your fans on?Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or?through your blogs. There are too many reasons your posts on these pages might be overlooked or never even shown to your audience. For example, Facebook and Instagram use algorithms to decide which posts will appear in each user’s?newsfeed; posts that are getting more “likes” and/or “reactions” will automatically receive a higher post ranking in the newsfeed, thus gaining a higher reach and exposure. Far too often, posts on social media get overlooked.

Newsletters, though, are a way to directly?send a message to your audience.

Newsletters are great because people tend to feel an emotional connection to their daily/weekly/monthly subscriptions. If it’s a good newsletter, fans might even look forward to and anticipate getting it each?term.

Fans?have to first agree to receive your newsletter, either simply by sharing their email address with you, or by making the conscious effort to personally sign up for your e-newsletter through your website. So in that, you already know your mailing list contains?an audience that is interested in you and your business. As long as you continually?add value to the lives of your readers, they will continue to open and read your newsletters.

newsletters

How do you add value?

Think in terms of,?”If I signed up for this newsletter, what would I?want to see?” What information would I find interesting? What photos would I enjoy? Are there links I would like to be?included, in case I want to read more about a topic? Is there a certain?length and depth of detail that I would expect in a?newsletter from this company?

Tips?for creating a captivating e-newsletter:

  • Be creative.

    The Subject line of your email is the first thing the reader will see. Be creative! If your reader isn’t already sold on your e-newsletter, the Subject line could be the one factor?that determines whether or not the reader chooses to even open your newsletter. (Tip: Emoji’s are sometimes a good way to make your Subject line stand out among the other emails in a reader’s inbox.)

  • Use a professional email service.

    MailChimp?and?Constant Contact?are two examples of email marketing tools. They are especially helpful for newsletters because they allow you to create and save a general template for your newsletter; then, with each publication,?you simply need to update the details within the letter. Speaking of “professional”… Don’t forget to proof-read for spelling or grammatical errors!

  • Make it informative and relevant to your readers.

    Most importantly, your newsletter HAS to interest them.?You could include items such as: links to your own (or 3rd party) blog posts, how-to’s, tutorials, current industry news, events, local happenings, promotional offers or coupons, helpful/educational information, interesting facts, fan photos, contest winners, any deadlines or other important dates, etc.

  • Be reliable.

    Provide accurate, up-to-date information that your readers know they can trust.

  • Be consistent.

    Pick a schedule, whether it be monthly, weekly, or daily, and stick to it! (You might want to include in the reader’s e-newsletter opt-in form the frequency of your newsletter. Some people want to know exactly what to expect when subscribing to new email lists.)

  • Make it look good.

    The newsletter should be professional, visually appealing, and enjoyable to look through. Use content blocks, pictures, blurbs, and an attractive color scheme.

  • Keep it short and sweet.

    Your readers’ time is precious, and in today’s modern world, their attention span?is spread thin!?Not only should the content of your newsletter be interesting and informative, but it needs to be easily scannable and easy to digest. Use content blocks, snapshots, and bullet points to help organize the letter and make it easier to scan. Keep the information short and sweet; then, you can use links to direct readers to things like: articles on your website, your “shopping” page on your website, your Facebook page, etc.

  • Don’t sell.

    The reader was already kind enough to let you into their home by agreeing to receive your newsletter; now don’t be a salesman! Readers want to be informed of special promotions or sales, but they don’t want to be pushed. Either just briefly mention upcoming sales in your e-newsletter (e.g., “Don’t forget about our 25% off Spring Savings Sale this weekend!”), or, use a separate, promo-specific email to relay the message. E-newsletters are not the place for selling; they are a means to convey information to, and build a connection with, your audience.

  • E-mail is not one-way communication.

    Let your fans know you are listening. If they reach out to you, respond! When creating your newsletter, in?the “From” label, make it clear who the email is from and who the reader can respond to (e.g., “info@diannarands.com”). Use a company, not personal, email address.

It’s time to start building relationships.

Now, do you see the value an e-newsletter can bring to your audience?

The ultimate purpose?of newsletters is?to relay information; inform and educate your readers. In the process of supplying interesting, reliable, consistent newsletters, your audience will begin to know you, trust you, and love you! It’s time to start building relationships with your fans.

Don’t forget to include clear, specific call-to-action buttons in your e-newsletters. ?Give readers the option to?click?and instantly be directed?to wherever you choose – your website, your blog, etc.?It’s time to start building those relationships, and let your fans know you are there for them. Give them the information they need and want, and give them the information they didn’t know they needed and wanted!

If you already write newsletters for your business, way to go! We hope this article has motivated you to re-evaluate your process and think a little deeper about how exactly you are creating your newsletters. With everything we do, there’s always room for improvement. Practice makes perfect! 😉

newsletters

Mandy

The Importance of Writing Articles

The Importance of Writing Articles

The Importance of Writing Articles

It can be a challenging task for some of us.

If you’re not a natural-born writer, writing articles for your website can sometimes be really?challenging. It can be hard to think of the appropriate topics, fill in the correct details, and tie it all together with the right?words.

 

It's worth it!

… But the pay-offs are worth it! ?

Writing your own original, informative articles?is a super important factor?in your marketing strategy.?It increases your SEO and discoverability, has the power to boost your sales, and provides?value for?your customers.

Provide?value. Increase customer loyalty.

It’s important to understand your audience. What are they looking for??What resonates with them?

Have you created your buyer persona? Who is your ideal customer? Think about what he/she would be interested in, and create your article topics based on?their needs.

With monthly?or weekly articles, a wide array of topics can be covered. Just plan it out! As?your fans?come to know, trust, and love your articles, they will look forward to the next one. They might rely on them for pertinent information in the industry, or look to them for tips/pointers. You will have developed customer loyalty and trust within your fanbase.

 

Plan ahead!

Plan ahead.

As long as you know and understand the topic at hand, blogging isn’t hard at all! It just takes a little planning, and with proper organization, the?task will become far less daunting.

For example, after considering your target audience, come up with a list of topics they might find interesting. Then, choose a date for each topic (monthly, weekly, daily, etc.). Now, you will already know exactly?what you are writing about each time you sit down to blog.

With the topic already nailed?down, you will have more energy and brainpower to put towards the actual article.

A good way to start each article is to create a layout. First, figure out?general headings for each topic you want to cover, then fill in the details. Write about what you already know, then do some?research (if necessary) to gather additional details, examples, statistics, or facts. During writing, or when you are finished, you can go back through the article and see if you are able to make the headings more interesting, captivating, or fitting to the material discussed in the section. Also, please don’t forget to proofread and edit your articles! Nobody wants to take advice from the “pro” who can’t form a proper sentence. ?;)

What do you want the reader to do?

It’s helpful to include a Call-to-Action (CTA) at the end. What do you want the reader to do next? Subscribe to your blog or newsletter, download an e-book, register for an event? CTA’s are a way to offer additional value to your readers, and if the reader follows your CTA, he/she could instantly become a lead (and even a customer) for your business!

Call-to-action

In one of our recent articles (about Editorial Calendars), our CTA was an offer for readers to download their free 2017 EC. They entered their name and email to receive the free template, and in doing so, became an instant lead for us! (Click on the photo above to view our article about Editorial Calendars and download YOUR free copy.)

 

don't forget to add visuals

Make it pretty.

Last but not least, add some visuals! (Pay attention to copyright laws.) Find images that are relevant to the topic at hand. Images help create and develop a story. Studies have shown that readers are more drawn to articles with images than those without.

Once your article is complete with images, proof it one more time (or give it to a co-worker to look over). Fix?spelling and grammatical errors, correct any alignment or formatting issues, and make it look beautiful.

Organization and planning can go a LONG?way in making blogging a more desirable task!

 

still struggling?

Still struggling?

If you still just have no idea where to begin, check out this article:?20 Prompts to Inspire Your Next Professional Blog Post. It has lots of really great blog?ideas/topics you can adapt and use for your own business! This is a great article to bookmark and refer back to whenever you are having a hard time coming up with?new ideas.

?

Your audience is out there searching the world wide web, every single day, for solutions to their problems.

Be the solution.

Give them the information?they are looking for. Start writing articles for your website (and your target audience) today!