Social media governance policy examples

Examples of social media workflow to review and respond to online comments about a brand

I received this question by email, it describes a common concern of managing brand reputation given the growth in consumer comments in social media:

"I would be interested in any case studies or examples of controlling social media discussions, especially in a case of negative flow".

The questioner went on to explain that in her case, in the health sector, and many health and looks treatments etc. create a lot of social media input. Experiences, questions, complaints etc. Also in some cases competitors are creating negative input. She explains that example is where companies have faced non-satisfied customers that are creating a lot of noise in social media.

Example flowcharts for managing social media marketing

To define how to manage the workflow for responding to social media I suggest drawing up a comment response flow chart like this one for Dell which was presented by Kerry Bridge when she was manages social media communications for Dell in Europe. You can read the case study of Dell's social media journey at that time - it's a little dated now, but still a great summary of the essence of a social media strategy.  

@RichardSedley, one of our expert commentators at Smart Insights reminded me that this is only a derivation of the widely shared USAF response diagram.  It's still excellent though.

See whether you can spot the difference between the USAF and Dell examples!

You can review other examples of social media policies at the Social Media Governance database - you can select by sector - there is a good range of examples from brands and charities.

For a further example of a planned approach to managing social media governance, Expert members of Smart Insights can review the example social media plan template prepared by Miriam Shirav. This focuses more on managing outbound communications through status updates.

Share your thoughts

  • These kind of flow charts are often underestimated in their value to organisations. In my experience proving that you have this sort of process in place can be a vital reassurance to senior company execs who hold the purse strings on future investments in social media.

    However one of the things I feel is missing from these charts is how you incorporate a more general, aggregated buzz monitoring into the flow. Sometimes you don’t need, or want, to assess individual +ve or -ve comment, but instead you need to understand and react to those comments as part of a trend.

    For example back in March of this year Nestle’s share price took a hit as a result of the publicity surrounding a negative viral campaign. [This is an excellent write-up on Nestle’s social media troubles by Asa Bailey (@viralagency)]

    I’d suggest that somewhere near the start of these flow charts we need to add a component that asks ‘Is this part of a trend? Rising or falling?’ ideally with an action related to sentiment monitoring (many buzz monitoring tools now provide sentiment analysis and while it can be a bit flakey I think this is a scenario where it is perfectly suited).

    Has anyone seen anything that incorporates this approach into a PR framework or flow chart?

  • Charlie commented on June 10, 2010

    Interesting that Dell don’t have share the success on their chart.

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