Social Media Guidelines For AV

What is YOUR Social Media Policy?

Social Media Policy
Image Courtesy of TwitterFlash.com

Until recently, most audiovisual (AV) equipment manufacturers and re-sellers saw no place for social media in their business model.  Their social media policy was simply “No YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter while you are working” (or something to that effect).

But with younger generations now using social media websites to search for new products and businesses, today’s AV companies realize that they have no choice but to get on Facebook, and start doing The Twitter thang.  You and your employees need to promote your business as a brand, but also as individuals working together on the same team.

Your company may have employees who are already tweeting, blogging, or updating their status to hundreds of followers, oftentimes about work-related topics:  

  • first week at new job, so far so good.  Going out with new coworkers after work
  • my coworkers are all golfing in Napa, while I’m stuck in the office #whatamidoingwrong?
  • I think my boss needs a firmware update

But do those employees realize that some of their seemingly-harmless status updates could actually jeopardize their company’s future business?  What if an employee mentions a new product, software, or service that had not been released yet?  What if they mentioned a business opportunity that was off the radar of their competitors?  What if an employee was upset about recent management restructuring, or layoffs, and decided to go on a Twitter rampage?

By creating a basic social media policy for your company and its employees, you can minimize your risks online.  With proper training, your employees, marketing, and executive staff will understand that every voice matters.  You should encourage them to be themselves online, but to keep certain company values and guidelines in mind.  They need to respect copyrights and fair use laws.  Tell them that it is okay to discuss the company in general, as long as they stay positve, respect people’s privacy, and they don’t give away project leads, proprietary software, or internal information about the company like organizational structure or sales margins. 

The easiest way (that I have found) to get a social media policy started is to use the free tool on this website.  Once you have signoff from your marketing team and make it an official company policy, be sure to notify all employees in a meeting or memo, and ask for their feedback since they probably use social media more than you do.  From then on, consider it a living document that should be reviewed and revised every three months, incorporating employee feedback as the social media amoeba continues to grow and change.

So what do you do about the employees who are always on Facebook?  Well for starters, you could put them in charge of your new social media marketing campaign!  Not ready to do that just yet? Then maybe you could tell your employees that its okay to use social media websites and apps while they work, as long as they keep it to business related activities, or to break times, and that they try mention your company at least once a day, either in a status update, a Like, or a tweet.  You may also want to explicitly limit Facebook games, and establish procedures for moderating comments from the public sector.  Instead of rules, offer guidance, and encourage your employees to show their personalities and creativity online.  

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A Tribute To Kevin M. Collins

The HB Communicators Perform a Benefit Concert at Infocomm 2011 

An Evening To Remember Kevin M. CollinsOn June 14, I attended the Infocomm 2011 opening keynote and reception at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.  The reception was followed immediately by An Evening To Remember Kevin M. Collins.  As VP of HB Communications and former Infocomm executive, Kevin was an audiovisual industry icon before he departed this life earlier this year.  

His friends and coworkers recently started a scholarship fund for his youngest daughter, Caroline Collins, and attendees were encouraged to contribute.  Joyful laughs mixed with tears as the stories of Kevin were passed arround the room, filled with many of his former coworkers, manufacturers’ representatives, industry friends, and family.

Seven of Kevin’s friends from HB Communications (from two offices) got together to form The HB Communicators, and learned a mix of upbeat songs for the memorial event.  The band consisted of CEO Dana Barron on drums, Jody Thompson on lead vocals, Bert Coburn on bass, Ian Stewart on trumpet, Ted Thompson on guitar and lead vocals, Eddie Nowik on lead guitar, and Michael Joseph Yorgensen on keyboards. They played almost two hours, as a slide show of memories served as their backdrop.  It was a wonderful event for all present.  If you were unable to attend, and still want to contribute to the scholarship fund, you can fill out this form or email info@hbcommunications.com for more information. 

HB Communications CEO Dana Barron plays drums behind his employees in Orlando

Jody Thompson at An Evening To Remember Kevin M. Collins

Ian Stewart of HB Communications at An Evening To Remember Kevin M. Collins

Members of HB Communications at An Evening To Remember Kevin M. Collins

Jody Thompson, Eddie Nowik, Ted Thompson, Dana Barron, and Bert Coburn of HB Communications

An Evening To Remember Kevin M. Collins

The HB Communicator play in remembrance of Kevin M. Collins at Infocomm 2011

HB Communications To Remember Collins At Infocomm (www.commercialintegrator.com)

Kevin Collins Receives InfoComm International Distinguished Achievement Award (www.infocommshow.org)

Show Them Some Love (www.pkaudiovisual.com)