Cheer leaders or problem makers?

More organisations are putting the clamps down on staff taking to social media to promote what is happening. Is that wise?

We’ve had a spate of calls from a range of organisations which are concerned about social media and getting their staff involved. Their concerns range from sharing posts, including comments on shared posts, making comments on the organisations’ websites among others.

Most take a risk-averse perspective until they have talked with us. Our view is that many people want to be cheerleaders for the organisation they work for, and should be encouraged to do so.

There are a number of steps that can be taken before organisations over-react.

The first step is to talk to other organisations in the industry do. Do they stop all conversations? Do they allow some to happen and others not to? How do they safeguard their reputation?

The second step is to research best practice in social media and employees. There is a mass of information on the Internet, some of it more relevant than others. But, like a rag picker, it is relatively easy to gain a discerning eye.

Once you have surveyed outside your organisation, talk to your managers and staff you know are your cheerleaders. This two –way conversation is useful in terms of learning more about how people think about the organisation. It is also encourages an open and transparent culture.

These two steps will inform you on the next important decision. Do you create a social media policy or guidelines?

Deciding between the two can be easier than perhaps imagined. We recommend policies for organisations which have strict government rules or standards to bide by. Guidelines are more in keeping for less-structured organisations. We work with organisations that choose a combination. Generally social media is managed by the communications team, which is there to help cheerleading employers with any concerns they may have.

In all, we don’t believe in putting the clamps on. Rather with the correct systems in place, open communication, and a strategy which encourages engagement on and off the internet, most organisations benefit more than they stand to lose.

Talk to us if you need advice on preparing social media policy or guidelines.