For someone who runs social media policy courses, this may seem like strange advice. It’s not. Some organisations don’t run well with heavyweight policy. It just doesn’t fit with their culture.
In organisations like those, guidelines and shared values work better than policies. In other words:
Social media policies waste time policing what is okay or not okay to publish in a single channel. But it’s impossible to anticipate every single scenario in social media, and on top of that, you don’t want to end up slowing down your publishing frequency, since speed counts on social media more than in other channel. So instead of a full-fledged social media policy, put together some guidelines that are easy for your employees to remember and keep in mind as they make their own decisions about what to publish in social media. As we mentioned in number 14, at HubSpot, our policy is simply to “use good judgment.”
And as much as it’s great advice, it’s probably more than a little dangerous, especially for organisations that are bound by heavy government regulations. When one misstep could land you in a tonne of hot water, it makes sense to err on the side of caution. That requires leaders to carefully weigh up the business risks of giving their people a voice. On this issue, leaders can’t sit on the sidelines.