- Trust your employees.In my experience, most people act as they are expected to. If you expect them to be honest and friendly, they will be honest and friendly. While some people may misbehave, deal with the exceptions as they come up.
- Consider your audience.When you’re out in the socialsphere, remember that your readers include current clients, potential clients, as well as current/past/future employees. Consider that before you publish and make sure you aren’t alienating any of those groups.
- Understand the concept of community.Community exist so that you can support others and they can support you. Learn how to balance personal and professional information.
- Be authentic.Include your name (always) and, when appropriate, your company name and title. Clients identify with people they know and trust. Be transparent.
- Exercise good judgement.Identify friendly and helpful employees that may already have an interest in social media and ask them to help you participate. Remind employees to refrain from using derogatory remarks and to ALWAYS think twice before hitting send. You may already have employee policies that cover this.
Bottom line: good judgment is paramount regardless of whether an employee’s online comments relate directly to their job.
- Remember to protect confidential & proprietary information.Make employees aware of any obligation they may have to protect confidential or proprietary information. Transparency does not give them free rein to share whatever they like.
- Bring value.Social media will more likely show a greater return if you add value to your followers. Engage in informal conversations to build brand awareness, show involvement by answering questions.
View some social media policies of large well known brands:
IBM Social Media Policy- One of the oldest and best examples out there.
Zappos Social Media Policy: "Be real and use your best judgment." This is my personal favorite. Keep in mind though that Zappos trains every new employee on social media so they have the education to back up such trust in their employees.