I wrote a while ago that if you don’t already have a social media policy, then make one. Build it off of existing policies around communication, acceptable behavior, etc. but don’t just rely on those. There are enough issues around social media to warrant having a short and to the point policy.
Necessary but not sufficient condition
But while a social media policy is a necessary condition for minimizing the risks involved, it’s not sufficient for getting the most value out of social media. If policies are the only thing out there, people will either not participate or if they do, constrain themselves to only what’s “permitted.”
You need to move into how to effectively engage social media to improve the business. That will improve over time, which means you need a way to learn from your social media efforts how to better engage with them. But you first have to start.
Where to begin?
Simply put, it comes down to answering “Why?” To be more precise, “why” in the context of improving the business. Why should employees, customers, and partners participate in your business’ social media? The more it aligns with the participants’ own interests, the better it acts to motivate them, but you really need to get your own objectives straight and communicate those.
To do that, figure out what ways to improve the business you think social media will help. There are a lot of business performance measures, some very specific and some very broad. The more you can determine a specific business performance measure that you can connect to the purported benefits of social media, the better. Remember that since you may need to make adjustments along the way, you need to measure results to get an idea if you are on the right track.
We’ll keep going on this thread in future posts. Stay tuned.
Photo by Magic Madzik