PAGE 2 GUEST EXPERT: Kay Sprinkel Grace, CFRE, is a San Francisco-based organizational consultant, providing workshops and consultation to local, regional, national and international organizations in strategic development planning, case and board development, staff development, and other issues related to leadership of the fund raising process.
She is the author of six books including: Beyond Fund Raising: New Strategies for Nonprofit Innovation and Investment, High Impact Philanthropy
The Klout Score is the measurement of your overall online influence. The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.
What is your Klout score? Klout integrates Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare checkins into its algorithm, go to your Klout profile page and click on the grayed-out buttons to add these features.
True Reach is the size of your engaged audience and is based on those of your followers and friends who actively listen and react to your messages. Amplification Score is the likelihood that your messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments) and is on a scale of 1 to 100. Network score indicates how influential your engaged audience is and is also on a scale from 1 to 100. The Klout score is highly correlated to clicks, comments and retweets.
As more businesses become social and move past the initial excitement of adoption, they need to tackle the nitty gritty of executing a social media strategy. It will involve cultural alignment, training, and building a solid process so that the necessary parts of the organization can participate. A truly social organization is active both internally and externally. This is where things get complicated.
When we think of major corporate PR blunders, we think of those committed by careless employees and interns tweeting from branded accounts.
TERRIFIC VIDEO FROM AUSTRALIA
The solution is obvious: Don’t put anyone on the branded account whom you don’t trust with the brand voice. But what about employees’ communication from their own accounts? The solution here is a bit more nuanced, because there are two contradictory impulses at play:
“This is my account! Why does anyone care what I say? Freedom of speech!” Everyone is justified to feel this way, especially if he or she isn’t in a customer-facing part of the organization.
Your employees’ personal accounts are faces of the company, especially if they identify their employer in their bio, share work-related stuff, or they are on Twitter lists associated with the company.
It’s not an easy job to help people reconcile their public and private lives, and it all comes down to training, ongoing mentorship, and establishing guidelines and best practices. It can be daunting, at best, to ensure compliance without overbearing rules that stifle self-expression and dialogue.
The best way to ensure buy-in to your social media policy is not through threat of disciplinary action. Rather, it’s by providing education and resources, and building the right processes. When writing a policy, make sure you are clear about what constitutes a major infraction and what the consequences are. Here are some tips for setting your social media policies on the right track.
Tips and Advice
Understand. Before you do anything else, you have to spend time understanding your internal culture and your employees’ facility with social tools. Understand your organizational objectives and map your goals of social media engagement to that.
Educate. Most people fall down due to lack of education. One training session does not qualify as “education.” Commit to ongoing workshops and extend the conversation.
Extend the conversation. Make sure to create a space where people can find you and ask questions. It can be an internal blog, wiki, or an internal discussion group.
Empower. Highlight the “Dos” over the “Don’ts” from your policy. Make sure to focus the discussion on positive behaviors in your governance. What do you want people to do to drive their careers and the company forward?
Create a solid process. This is the part that takes the most time, so don’t despair if it doesn’t work on the first try. For example, how do you ensure that your sales team adequately covers social media without replying to one person from more than one sales account? How do your systems talk to each other? Make sure that every part of the organization is looped in. Find a way of sharing information and collaborate around it.
Tune into “WIIFM”. People always want to know “What’s In It For Me.” Make sure to address how proper social media training is good for employees’ individual careers. When talking to sales people, for example, recognize that Twitter can augment the sales process from lead discovery to post-sales, and give your team the tools necessary to be successful.
Address problems proactively and gently. There will be things that go awry. It’s always better to politely point out the problematic tweet or blog comment in private. Most people want to do the right thing even if they make mistakes. Identify problem areas for your organization and create additional guidance around them.
Address internal social too. Make sure that your governance extends to your internal collaboration groups and networks. At my company, we advise our customers to create a usage policy that outlines the Dos and Don’ts of behaviors in their networks. One of these behaviors, for example, is to not repost private discussions into public forums.
“These thoughts are my own.” Encourage people to speak for themselves, not the brand, even when they are talking about the space and the company. Make sure that your employees as well as official spokespeople have access to brand documents and Q&As.
Creating a Policy
Post your policy in a place that’s easily found, in a format that easily digestible. While you should also have a text version of it available, create a set of slides, an ebook or a video that employees can refer to. For example, Australia’s Department of Justice created the great video above. When appropriate, share your policy with the world, so that your customer community can see what’s important to your brand.
When creating policy, make it part of a larger organization-wide effort to adapt to the realities of today’s marketplace. Make sure that legal, CIO/ IT and HR are also involved and consulted.
In addition to protecting your brand and company assets, a social media policy and governance should also educate best practices around creating passwords and using OAuth with social media sites. It’s not a good idea to put sensitive information in an unsecure channel, like a Twitter direct message.
Your policy should clearly set guidelines for public discourse and outline consequences of not following these guidelines. Make sure people know which ones constitute a minor vs. a major infraction.
If you think that blocking social media at the office is the answer, think again. With smartphone adoption on the rise, your employees will simply get their social fix on a smaller screen during work hours.
Remember: educate and empower — then you won’t have to resort to disciplinary action. What are some ways in which you have approached governance and social media policy? Let us know in the comments below.