BBM, faxing and dial up internet connections are certainly a thing of the past!

With the launch of Friendster in 2002 and MySpace in 2003, social media became mainstream. Then 2004 brought the founding of the king of social media, Facebook. Twitter then encouraged us to be succinct by posting our thoughts with fewer than 140 characters.

Today, June 30th, is Social Media Day, created in 2010 to recognise the impact that social media has had on global communication. So why not celebrate with a virtual gathering of your friends, family, colleagues and clients!

In this blog, the Hallidays HR team have put together some fun ideas to celebrate Social Media Day, and also address the importance of having a social media policy for your business.

How to Celebrate Social Media Day

1. Organise a virtual meetup

Using social media, organise a virtual meetup for you and your friends, colleagues or clients, to virtually celebrate Social Media Day. Get together on your favourite social platform or video chat app and share stories about how social media has impacted your life and/or business.

2. Share something new

Take the day to share something new with your followers on social media. Whether it’s a piece of content, a special announcement, or a hilarious meme, use Social Media Day to engage with your followers.

3. Create a hashtag

Create a unique hashtag for the day that encourages people to share their stories about social media or how they are celebrating the day. Encourage others to join in by sharing the hashtag and using it yourself.

4. Run an online contest

Run an online contest that encourages people to post photos or videos about why they love social media and tag your business in the post. Offer a prize such as a free product or services in exchange for participating.

Musts for a Social Media Policy

Of course, social media isn’t always fun posts and memes.

Only 79% of businesses have a social media policy. Meaning that 21% are yet to wake up to the need for one. As a business, it is important to protect yourself and your reputation. The best way to do so, is with a social media policy. The following are some areas we recommend including:

1. Explain the new workplace reality
Many, if not most employees consider their private and work lives separate, but social media has effectively erased that distinction. No matter how “walled-off” an individual’s social accounts may seem to be, ultimately someone somewhere could tie that person to your business. Therefore, employees need to understand that this means anything they post on social media or elsewhere online may reflect on them and the company.

2. Protect your businesses reputation
A good social media policy spells out what is and is not appropriate for employees to post about their company on social networks. Generally, the policy will state that employees shouldn’t write anything they wouldn’t want splashed across the public media. This section may include the consequences of posting unflattering information about the business. It should also remind employees that anything posted online – even posts marked as private – could be used against them.

3. Raise awareness of your business and what it does
The best social media policies have more “dos” than “don’ts. ” They have clear guidelines to help employees understand ways they can use social media to help achieve business goals. They also help employees reflect company values in their online behaviour and explain the best kind of material to share on social media.

4. Outline what’s considered confidential or private information
Employees appreciate having clear guidelines about what the business considers public information about its business and its employees. This section should also describe the consequences for sharing company secrets on social media.

5. Spell out who in the business is the official voice
Employees need to know who they should refer online questions about your business to, so they don’t answer themselves. This section designates a company spokesperson and the circumstances under which they must be the person answering questions on social media.

6. Discuss the proper way to engage with others online
It may seem like stating the obvious, but this section reminds employees that they should be polite and agreeable. If they must disagree with someone they should agree to disagree with others on social media because disagreements can quickly blow up and go viral.

7. Educate and train employees
Show them what good social media can do for the business … and the bad. Use real-life examples to show them what happens when people don’t follow the rules and/or don’t use common sense. This is the ounce of prevention that can get them to think before they click.

8. Remove any confusion about legal issues
Clearly spell out which social media use in the workplace is acceptable and which is not. Explain the consequences of deviating from the rules and if that includes the “up to and including termination” language say it here. This is no time for equivocation.

An up to date and active social media policy is essential. Until people have a lot of experience in social media they are going to make mistakes unless they get good guidance … the kind of guidance a social media policy provides.

How Hallidays HR can help

Do you even have a social media policy? If so, is it up to date and effective?

If not, contact us.