1 Tweet from Destruction? – How’s your Social Media Policy?

Why would I need one? .....What harm can be done on social media?

Well just from a very quick search on the internet you will find that social media screw ups can be anything from loosing customers or market advantage...

In November, Twitter CFO Anthony Noto slipped up and tweeted a message that was probably meant to be a private direct message. The tweet, which was quickly deleted, read: "I still think we should buy them. He is on your schedule for Dec 15 or 16--we will need to sell him. i have a plan." The message is thought to have been referring to Twitter's plans to acquire the selfie app Shots, which is backed by Justin Bieber

...to loosing reputation or confusing the public with hashtags that are not thought through. Obviously no business damage done here, but a good example of how easy it is to get wrong...

The death of Margaret Thatcher also had some Cher fans distraught on the same day with the hashtag that was being passed around social media, #Nowthatchersdead.

...even good hashtags and campaigns that just simply back fire...

Starbucks spread negative news when it asked for users to #spreadthecheer on Twitter. Instead, the hash tag was hijacked and negative stories and political rants were out of control for some time

...and account security not given the correct focus...

HMV (a UK entertainment retailer) recently laid off a large number of staff without considering the fact that some still had access to the corporate Twitter account. One member of staff took advantage of this by live tweeting the “mass execution of loyal employees who love the brand”. It seems that no one in senior management knew the Twitter password and they were powerless to stop it.

In this modern world, where instant communication is literally at our fingertips and available 24 hours a day, it's no surprise that people sometimes hit the post button without thinking through the consequences. We are often communicating reactively as a means of venting our frustrations. This in itself is no issue, but those frustrations are often caused by, or cross over into, the work place.

This, coupled with the greater use of social media in marketing and advertising, means we really are looking at a social media minefield out there.

So how do we best respond to the social media challenge?

The first step to getting through it is to have a robust and considered social media policy that is distributed and trained to all staff effectively. Sounds simple doesn't it?....but how do we distribute the policy to those who need it? How do we know that the new or updated policy has been read and understood?... if you have SharePoint, there is a fantastic way to achieve this!!

Policy management software with SharePoint and DocRead

With DocRead (that works with SharePoint 2010 and 2013), you can keep track on policy change from a central team or location within your SharePoint estate. Then you target the right people using the technology you already have in place (SharePoint audiences or AD groups). The process is simple. You choose the right groups of people, attach DocRead to the policy or procedure, set the time-frame for confirming the document has been read and click send. That's it!

With the addition of the DocSurvey add on as part of the same process you can even measure comprehension and understanding by adding a quiz that the audience have to take and pass.

Once at this stage, your policy owner can simply monitor the progress of the policy by using embedded MI dashboards. He/She can see who has read and confirmed understanding of the document, which departments are regularly ignoring the requirement to read the updates and which are always on time.

So in summary, there are ways in which social media can be very damaging to your company which should not be underestimated. However, there are simple things that can be done using some fantastic tools like SharePoint with DocRead to make sure the awareness of your social media policy is maintained to the correct level throughout your organisation......... so that next time your staff are about to click 'post' , it will be in the forefront of their minds to consider the consequences!!