Captain Pat O'Connor and Damien Mulley, how to create a social media policy

Captain Pat O’Connor and Damien Mulley discussing Social media policy.

How to Create a Social Media Policy

On Friday, we attended Enterprise Ireland’s Social Media club  at the EI’s Headquarters in East Point Business Park.

Two fantastic presentations from Captain Pat O’Connor, Spokesperson and Media Relations, Irish Defence Forces and Damien Mulley of Mulley Communications on how to create, roll out and manage your social media presencewith a social media policy. As you can imagine for the defence forces this would be a tricky and sensitive area. How do you allow people to blog/tweet and socialise whilst protection national security interests and people’s public / private interests. Captain O’Connor spoke excellently about how they manage this balance. The defence forces have a very well thought out policy and process for publication of information. His presentation was open and he shared a great many valuable lessons with everyone in the room.

Damien spoke about how to manage your presence and policy, and the key elements you need to have in place for a successful “social” presence.

  1. It is very important to remember that in today’s world, a Tweet carries the same weight as a press release. Captain O’Connor spoke about how some of the defense forces tweets had reached the news before the official press releases, so you need to be careful about how and what you tweet
  2. You need to have a social media policy in place. Social Media Governance is a great site with lots of free examples and templates for social media policies
  3. You should assign people as social media commentators and train them accordingly
  4. You should register your social media profile on all the various systems even if you don’t plan to use them. It can be an expensive and long process to get them back if someone “cybersquats” them
  5. Have an emergency response policy for social media. This is important to ensure you respond accordingly to manage any situation that may arise. One company who had their database of clients “hacked” immediately sent out press releases about their data breach. This was picked up quickly by the search engines. Discussions were about the data breach and not about the actual hack. This was a much softer message and a great PR win for them
  6. Finally, ensure you tie your business strategy in with your social media strategy. Know your audience / customers: where they are (and on what platforms), how to communicate and publish appropriate messages for them. Just like any offline marketing strategy, you need to know who they are, what they are doing, where they are and when to target them, for each message