From recruiting to coordinating to showcasing impact, social media and volunteer engagement are a great match – perhaps because both are inherently social in nature. In this special series of posts based on discussions held at our 2011 Client Summit, we’re exploring the intersection of social media and employee volunteering.
A social media policy is the answer to a very important (and convoluted) question: How do you ‘guide’ employees to say the things you want them to say on social media… and not say the things you don’t… while also enabling them to remain true to their own personal voices?
Your hub for social media questions: Join the “Social Media and Employee Volunteering” discussion on LinkedIn.
According to a recent study by Manpower, just one in five businesses has a social media policy in place for their employees. That means the vast majority of businesses either wing it or else restrict social media duties to specialized personnel.
We see this as well within the VolunteerMatch family of corporate clients and partners. While some policies exist, they tend to be in the minority. Here are some of the members of the VolunteerMatch community that are part of this 20%, with links to their policies:
In addition to crafting a policy for social media use by your employees, it’s important to provide them with the training necessary to follow and make the most of this policy. If they need training in social media use, you should provide them with introductory resources. And no matter what their level of social media savvy, every employee using online networks at your company should be trained thoroughly how to correctly communicate your corporate message.
One last thing to remember is that your social media policy should not just list what your employees ‘can’t’ do – you should use the policy to provide avenues for them to become social media evangelists for your employee volunteer program. Do you have a blog they could write for? Make sure they know what your Twitter account is so they can retweet it. Encourage them to post on your Facebook wall or participate in the conversations happening in your internal social network.
For more information about social media policies, check out Realized Worth, an excellent group that works with companies to design and implement employee volunteer programs.
Remember: With guidance, training, and opportunities to use their voice, your employees will become more engaged and excited about your employee volunteer program and will get others excited about it, as well.
(Click here to read more articles in the “Social Media & Employee Volunteering” series.)
Your New Hub for Social Media Questions
Has this series created more questions for you? Do you have a specific question you want help with? Do you have a story or best practice to share?
Contribute to the new “Social Media and Employee Volunteering” discussion in our LinkedIn Group. Here are the steps to take to join in:
See you there!