Why Social Media Policies Don’t Work

As social media matures from a marketing to a mainstream communications channel, organizations need to look beyond social media policy if they want employees to use it effectively and responsibly at work.

If organization’s want to leverage the value of social media, they must engage at scale through the broadest possible constituency.  An amazing social marketing department may be necessary, but it’s insufficient.

That’s a scary prospect to most managers, because they’re essentially being asked to empower a community of public disclosure novices.What if employees say something discriminatory, defamatory or exceedingly speculative? What if they make a promises they can’t keep? What if they admit fault? What if they invade someone’s privacy, or compromise data security? What they trash the organization’s reputation?

If it’s online, it’s recorded. If it’s recorded, it’s discoverable. And if it’s discoverable, it’s evidence.

Up to now, most organization’s have tried to manage this risk by handing out a social media policy. Policy is certainly important. We’ve got an online course on how to draft one.

But the problem with relying on exclusively policy is, few people actually read them. And for those who try, most corporate policies are written in such thick legalese they’re tough for the layman to decipher, let alone understand.

You can’t comply with a social media policy you don’t understand. So what’s the answer?

The future of social media marketing is online literacy, risk and compliance training that’s available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Most consultants and organizations pay lip service to social media training. They say you need to social media train your work force. But they don’t tell you how to get it done quickly and efficiently, they don’t offer a way to assess or certify personnel, and they can’t deliver a scalable or affordable solution for getting it done.

The untold truth is, amidst all the on-boarding of new employees and the never-ending turnover, it’s now prohibitively expensive to dole out lectures in a classroom, particularly to the front line employees who need it most. I’ve been leading social media trainings in the classroom for nearly 10 years and in my professional opinion, they are not the best way to transfer knowledge, particularly when the chalk board is the digital desktop. Up to now, there’s been NO practical, online solution for training personnel to use social media effectively AND responsibly at work. That’s about to change.

Through a series of developments I’ll be able to discuss shortly, we’re bring scalable, online social media literacy, risk and compliance to the enterprise. We’re including assessment and certification so you can manage social media performance. And we’re going to offer it for a fraction of what it costs to train personnel #IRL.

We’ve been working our tails off to make it happen, and we’re literally days away from making our new social media risk and compliance performance management program available.  Stay tuned!