First, governance provides the framework to ensure marketing collaborators and employees are properly informed and aware of key social media guidelines. Hopefully, informed colleagues will use social media with discernment and recognize situations that could create issues and respond appropriately.
Second, governance defines procedures and protocols that are the baseline to protect the integrity of an organization’s social media accounts. Governance sets the stage for quality assurance, whether it’s preventing an account hack or ensuring that published content meets legal and brand standards.
Third, governance gives an organization more agility to address critical situations as these situations unfold in real-time. Without a proper plan in place, organizations will face the pressure of quickly determining the best response and receiving approval from leadership.
Butts: Developing a governance policy with the right level of specificity is a delicate balance. However, transparency is essential. Employees should easily understand the non-negotiable offenses, such as disclosing confidential information or engaging in hate speech.
After the governance policies are finalized, the next step is to develop effective training with key stakeholders, including HR leadership. Frequent training allows employees to apply their understanding of the guidelines to various current scenarios. Should an employee engage in online behavior that warrants an HR action, governance should outline the process. Still, ultimately, the organization should reserve the right to take action based on the current circumstances and alignment with the organization’s guiding principles.
Butts: Start by reviewing your current social media landscape. Take an audit of the organization’s social media channels, review existing social media policies, note which collaborators have credentials and access to the social channels, and conduct some social listening to understand better how people internally and externally interact with the organization’s social media presence. This research should make it easier to identify obvious weaknesses that should be the priority. The governance process will require collaboration from many internal functions, including operations, branding, legal and HR.