How to Build Social Media Trust Through Clear Team Guidelines

Putting in place your official social media engagement guidelines presents a unified voice and begins the process of engineering the foundation of your audience's conviction that you're worth their time, energy, and — eventually — their dollars.

To set up social media engagement guidelines, follow these suggestions:

  • Do your homework. Dig a little. Find out who your audience is, where they spend their time, and what they're already talking about. The more you know about them, the easier it is to tailor your message directly to them.

  • State your mission. As a brand or a business, you should have already developed a mission statement. Now it's time to make that statement relevant to your social media approach to guide your team as they begin to share your message publicly online. USA.gov calls its approach the "guiding principle" and reminds everyone working on its social media team that everything it does is "motivated by this principle."

  • Make them short and sweet. Your team doesn't need guidelines the size of a novel. If your written guidelines are too long and complicated, your team won't understand them, process them, remember them, or use them to engage. Guidelines that are succinct are easier to commit to memory and to follow with ease.

  • Allow for experimentation. You can follow your guidelines — and you can also "color outside the lines." Trusting that your team can effectively use the information you give them, and expand on it, pushes your message to the next level of engagement.

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