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Chances are, your company has a presence on at least a few social media platforms. The employee(s) who manage these accounts abide by strict guidelines put in place to ensure all posts align with your brand voice, image and character.

It’s absolutely necessary to have a social media policy for your company, but your employees also need one. Seven in ten Americans use social media, according to the Pew Research Center, so most — or all — of your team probably has a presence on popular sites.

Having a defined social media plan in place ensures everyone is one the same page regarding how employees should conduct themselves online. Here are a few benefits you’ll realize by setting standards for your staff.

Maintain Control of Your Reputation

You might think employees know what content is and isn’t appropriate to post online, but this isn’t a risk you shouldn’t take. Make it crystal clear what they’re allowed to say about your company and what’s off limits. Grey areas can easily lead to misunderstandings that will result in a pricey crisis for your business.

Avoid Legal Issues

The last thing you want is to get sued because of social media, but it happens more than you might think. For example, if you fire an employee because of an inappropriate social media post, you better be able to prove their actions were in blatant violation of a written company policy.

Set Rules for Communicating With Non-Employees

Social media makes it easy to connect with just about anyone. Therefore, it’s important to set ground rules that ensure your team doesn’t overstep their boundaries. For example, you might want to include whether employees can connect with customers through their personal accounts and what to do if they’re contacted by a member of the media.

Empower Employees to Be Brand Evangelists

Hopefully, you have a group of employees who are really passionate about your company. When people truly enjoy their work, they want to share it with others. However, many might feel intimidated, because they don’t want to accidentally post something that gets them in trouble. If they know the rules, they’ll be more likely to share, which will increase brand awareness for your entire organization.

Uphold Your Brand Image

Each of your employees is a unique individual, and that’s great, but they need to be at least somewhat uniform when sharing content about your brand. People who see these posts will get confused if there’s a lack of consistency, so create brand standards that outline the proper use of media, the voice that should be used and the type of content that can be shared.

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