Anyone who knows me, or reads this blog, knows that I am a strong proponent of social media as a big part of the overall marketing mix. As part of an effective communications package, every organization needs to use a combination of social media tools to speak directly with their audience.
Although social media is intended to be somewhat unfiltered, some organizations – particularly hospitals – are governed by laws and privacy issues that can preclude an unfiltered stakeholder engagement. For that reason, it is important to craft and vet a social media response protocol prior to engaging in these new, and operationally-different, media tools.
As part of your social media effort, you need to develop a comprehensive social media policy. This policy will provide needed checks and balances for all of your employees and external stakeholders who could potentially contribute content or comment on any of your company-controlled social media properties. It should also provide guidance on moderating comments and input from the general public.
Your goal should not necessarily be to control and manage the message and tone of social media communication with your various publics. Rather, your goal should be to ensure that the dialogue is fair and adheres to standards that you’ve thought through and pre-set for propriety and privacy.