Is your social media policy effective?

Paul Boag

Does your social media policy encourage your Twitter account to read like it was written by a corporate drone or by a real human being?

Many organisation’s social media policy demonstrates how little they understand the medium. This failure to ‘get’ social media leaves you wondering whether it can ever be an effective tool for business.

Twitter seems to suffer from this phenomena more than Facebook. It’s like marketeers can’t wrap their heads around saying anything of value in 140 characters or less.

The result is that most corporate twitter feeds are nothing more than a glorified RSS feed of press releases.

There is hope for creating an effective social media policy

Fortunately once in a while you come across a company that gets it. It might be a company like Zappos that use it to engage directly with its customers in a personal way, or even a bricks and motor business like Waterstones.

Waterstones Oxford Street has an amazing twitter stream and I find that many of the people I follow retweet it regularly. I have even subscribed myself as their tweets constantly make me smile.

Waterstones Oxford Street On Twitter demonstrates a solid social media policy
Waterstones Oxford Street is one of the most entertaining and engaging Twitter feeds I have ever encountered. Its great to see their social media policy allows this level of humour.

Your social media policy needs to contain one rule: Be human.

What is their secret? In my opinion it is because they are being human. Too many social media feeds feel like they have been churned out of some marketing bullshit machine. They are soulless and hollow.

In other environments they might get away with this, but these updates are sandwiched between our friends sharing their lives in personal and often unnecessarily revealing ways.

Social networks are about people, feelings and experience. They are about humanity. Anything else looks out of place and will ultimately wither and die.