The use of social media for business continues to grow exponentially, seemingly on a daily basis. It’s no surprise as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter enable companies to connect with their target markets in real-time, be it B2B or B2C. Whether your company is just getting its feet wet in social media or is already an established entity, putting conduct guidelines in place for employees is essential. Your employees are your company’s key ambassadors within these very public forums.

First things first though. Decide whether or not a manager’s approval is required before an employee actively participates in social media outlets on a professional level. Once that approval process is defined, here is a set of guidelines to discuss with employees:

  • Use common sense and practice sound judgment.
  • Do not post sensitive information, such as company details that should not be released to the public yet. Only post items that are fine for everyone to read.
  • Keep in mind that what is put on social media can never be deleted. Even if it is removed, it can still be retrieved.
  • Focus on the audience and write for them.
  • Remember the “Golden Rule.” Be sensitive to others, always respecting their opinions and ideas.
  • Add value to conversations by including facts and figures.
  • Be mindful of copyright and fair use laws. Give credit where credit is due.
  • Respond to comments and questions as soon as possible, preferably no later than 24 hours.