As social media is being used by different departments in larger companies, we tend to see that all the efforts are undertaken in somewhat isolation of each other. Call it social media chaos. Marketing uses it for brand awareness; HR for recruitment; Sales for lead generation; etc. All might be using different media, different approaches, and different rules. Sounds familiar?
The ultimate solution, of course, is that companies hire a social media manager. Hopefully, this person can sit at a corporate level as to not be driven by one type of function but we all know better, right! However, we all know that few companies are willing to invest in an FTE for social media because of cost, lack of strategy and no real view on time and effort needed. So why not use the social media policy to unify the different social media initiatives within the company.
How? One of the key building blocks in the acceptance of a social media policy is that is created by multiple departments otherwise you end up with a unilateral policy. Marketing will make it as minimalistic as possible as to not have any limitations, HR will make it restrictive in line with the other policies, IT will close down as much as possible, legal will have it so unreadable, etc.
Putting together a team to create your social media policy is more than a good idea. The first step in the creation of a social media policy is to raise the awareness of the topic to the same level for all the participants. So in this step of the every department makes an inventory of what it is using, why and how. By presenting this to the team, it will not only create a better understanding of what social media means to everyone, but also where the company is active (you will be surprised to see the results). It will also reveal possible synergies. Why evaluate and set up 2 different monitoring systems (one for marketing and one for customer service, and yes, it happens!).
By understanding everyone’s efforts (call it their social media goals), the policy can be created with the necessary flexibility and more importantly, it be will be endorsed by everyone in the organization which is another stumbling block when implementing such a policy.
Or how the social media policy unites company social media efforts!