How to Write a Social Media Policy for your Employees

Posted on August 9, 2017 by Michelle Locke

Does your restaurant have a social media policy?

If you just stared at that question, wondering what, exactly, it meant, then it’s time to get serious about social media and your restaurant’s policy. We’ve written about social media policies before, with an eye on ensuring that employees still have freedom and trust in you as an owner and manager.

Want to know what a social media policy is and why it’s important—as well as where to start? Let’s get started then.

What Is a Social Media Policy?

According to Hootsuite, “A social media policy outlines how an organization and its employees should conduct themselves online. This document helps to safeguard your brand’s reputation while also encouraging employees to responsibly share the company’s message.”

Sounds good, right?

A great social media policy:
  • outlines what you expect from employees on social media (professionalism and courtesy above all else)
  • protects your reputation (“don’t talk bad about the restaurant online” is often number 1)
  • encourages employees to act as brand ambassadors (aka, your number 1 fans)
Again, from Hootsuite: “Social media policies can also be enormously helpful when it comes to brand amplification. How? They tap into your biggest advocacy group: your employees. And company messaging is often considered more credible when it comes from actual people.”

How to Get Started

When it comes to writing a social media policy, what do you need to include? Here are the basics:

  • A division between official accounts (that’s your restaurant’s social media) versus employee social media
  • Branding for your official accounts: guidelines for talking about the company, etiquette for replying to comments, and confidentiality
  • Potential legal risks (such as crediting photos and memes, disclosure, and more)
  • Guidelines for employee behavior on social media (such as if they mention the restaurant, their social media needs to be appropriate for the public)
  • Encouragement for sharing company social media channels and posts (through retweeting or writing Instagram posts)

Social media policies don’t have to be all or nothing. If employees don’t want to mention their workplace on social media, that’s actually a great scenario: you don’t have to worry about anything potentially reflecting badly on you. However, employees need the freedom to express themselves on social media; just remind them that future employers, as well as current employers, care about how they appear on social media!