LinkedIn recently announced it had passed 15 million members in the UK, a 50 per cent increase since September 2012. Amongst the most represented industries were IT in first place, closely followed by healthcare in fourth.

Many organisations within these industries have understood the impact that social media, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, can have on their business and are very active on these channels, some with greater success than others!

Forward-thinking businesses need to embrace employees that use social media as potential brand ambassadors, therefore it’s vital that organisations, and their staff, fully understand the etiquette and professionalism that is required in their use.

Related post

How Alcidion found its market in the UK for a new kind of health tech

Smart health tech provider Alcidion is seeing rapid growth in the UK following the formal launch of its flagship platform, Miya Precision. That’s in part due to a bold communications campaign says Lynette Ousby, Alcidion’s…

Continue reading

That’s why social media guidelines are so important as they provide a framework around which to structure and deploy a successful social media strategy. However, creating these guidelines is not an easy process and will vary greatly from one organisation to another, depending on its size, purpose and corporate culture.

Guidelines need to be clear and concise. They need to address the basics such as which social media platforms to use, how they are going to be monitored, how often to tweet or post, and how to get across the organisation’s brand values and of course tone of voice.

They also need to cover more complex issues such as dealing with criticism, customer complaints and press enquiries, as well as any legal implications that may occur. Not to be forgotten is the inclusion of guidelines for employees’ personal accounts as these can have an impact on the employer’s reputation, as Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust discovered.

Proactively, social media guidelines should also enable good content creation. They are meant to support employees responsible for social media to ensure the content they develop on social media channels is aligned with the organisation’s key messages and topics.

Related post

Digital plans for end of life and urgent care: How NHS Coordinate My Care reached out to the public

London’s Coordinate My Care service sought to launch a new online care plan to the public to empower people with long term conditions, and people at the end of their lives, to share their wishes about the care they want to receive. Working in…

Continue reading

However it is worth remembering that social media is all about personal interactions, therefore being too restrictive is just not going to work; employees should be empowered to use their judgment when engaging with social media.

Dealing with a crisis requires clear guidelines, which should detail how to respond to negative comments or news before it gets out of hand. This would usually include the need for transparency, dialogue, as well as the right message, and crucially providing a rapid response.

Of course having guidelines in place is only the first step. They must then be communicated to staff effectively so that they are aware of them, and understand them fully. This will need to be reinforced regularly as in reality people tend to forget about guidelines! However employees can be engaged effectively through the use of videos, animations, webinars, or infographics.

Social media policies will also need to be regularly updated as organisations discover that certain aspects of them do not work in practice.

Related post

Talking marketing with X-on marketing director Paul Heeren

Highland Marketing and healthcare communications specialists X‑on have an established relationship dating back to 2017. Marketing director Paul Heeren provides an insight into the working relationship. Tell us a bit about X-on and Surgery Connect…

Continue reading

As the world of social media continues to evolve and new channels emerge, guidelines must be included as part of a wider digital training scheme. After all, employees can only follow guidelines if they have a good understanding of the social media channels they are using and the objectives of the organisation using them.

Navigating the social media world is not plain sailing and can be time consuming, but the rewards in terms of brand awareness and lead generation will make the efforts worthwhile. At the heart of a successful social campaign lie good guidelines.

So if yours are not in place yet, time to get started!

Related post

How one medical imaging company projected its message to the NHS

Sectra’s approach to marketing has been less about selling, and more about promoting ideas. Jane Rendall, Chris Scarisbrick and Caroline Marjason explain how driving change through discussion and debate, with the support of Highland Marketing…

Continue reading
The following two tabs change content below.

Myriam McLoughlin

Senior Account Director
Myriam is an enthusiastic and focused PR and communications professional with many years of experience in the hi-tech sector. She combines a results-oriented approach with creative flair, delivering high level campaigns on time and on budget. She has worked with a range of UK and international clients, managing and running complex and demanding campaigns in many specialist areas. Well-known IT and telecoms clients have included Unisys, Ericsson, Global One and Open Text and Data General. Myriam’s skills include strategic consultancy, copywriting, media and analyst relations, event organising and market research.
“Really knowing and understanding your customer are fundamental to effective PR and communications. Getting to know each client’s people, culture and products is essential for a campaign which will make them stand out from the crowd, win positive media attention and persuade potential customers that this is a company they want to work with.”
A little about Myriam:
  • French by birth and fully bilingual, Myriam is well-equipped to communicate fluently and easily with clients throughout the English and French-speaking worlds.
  • Myriam has an impressive academic record, including a first degree in communications and PR, from Bordeaux University, and a second, in information and library studies, from Loughborough University.
  • Before going into PR she ran a profitable business as a La Jolie Ronde franchisee, recruiting 50 pupils and teaching them French, both at school and privately.
  • Peace and relaxation comes from walking her beloved dog, which she manages to fit in between acting as a taxi service for her three children.

Latest posts by Myriam McLoughlin (see all)

Want more articles like this one?

Our free newsletter drops into your inbox every Friday to bring you...
  • Industry news
  • Essential analysis
  • Unmissable interviews
  • HM blog posts, tips and advice

Sign up:

Highland Marketing Ltd will use the information you provide on this form to send you our newsletter. Additionally, please let us know if you would like to hear from us about:

Read more information about our privacy practices. By clicking to subscribe below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Find out how we can help your business

Get in touch