The Key Elements of Social Media Governance

The Key Elements of Social Media Governance

The concept of social media governance has emerged as a key element for businesses seeking to manoeuvre the intricacies of online interactions. While the significance of having a social media policy has been widely acknowledged, a comprehensive social media governance model extends far beyond mere policy creation. In this article, we delve into the depths of social media governance, exploring its nuances and presenting five key elements that constitute a successful model.

Understanding Social Media Governance

Social media governance is a multifaceted framework that encompasses policies, guidelines, processes, and educational resources designed to direct employees in effectively representing a company across various social media platforms. Although a social media policy outlines how employees should engage on these channels, a governance model provides a more comprehensive structure to ensure cohesive and strategic implementation.

The 4 Pillars of a Strong Social Media Governance Model

If your organization has yet to establish a social media governance model, the following four pillars can guide you in developing a robust framework to protect your brand in the online space

Consideration of Brand Guidelines in an Online Space

Implementing brand and employee social media guidelines is instrumental in identifying and addressing risks in the online space. Daily monitoring, community management processes, and continuous due diligence are essential components to ensure brand integrity.

Integrating Compliance and Legal Regulations

Collaboration between compliance and social media teams enhances security by preventing false advertising messages and protecting against threats. Strategies for capturing online comments and conducting regular compliance reviews assure adherence to industry regulations.

Getting Comfortable with Social Listening

Proactive social media monitoring is vital for mitigating corporate risks. Daily monitoring of brand, competitors, and critical accounts is essential. During crises, constant monitoring and reporting every few hours become crucial for effective damage control.

Getting Familiar with Your Business Continuity Plan

Social media managers should actively engage with the business continuity plan to ensure seamless communication during critical situations. Regular communication and collaboration with communications teams can streamline crisis management and messaging strategies.

Optimizing Risk Management with Social Media Governance

Although social media offers unprecedented opportunities for businesses, it also brings forth various risks such as reputational damage, breaches of confidentiality, and regulatory infractions. A comprehensive social media governance model is essential to address and reduce these risks.

The 5 Key Elements of a Solid Social Media Governance Model

Definition of Scope

Clearly outlining the scope of its application is a fundamental aspect of a strong governance model. Companies need to expressly identify the social channels the governance model covers and delineate the corresponding policies and guidelines for each. Some organizations may opt for a unified model for internal and external communities, while others may prefer separate structures. This clarity aids employees in understanding the boundaries and expectations set by the company.

Frequency & Process for Updates

Social media undergoes constant change, evolving swiftly. An effective governance model must include a specified update frequency and a transparent procedure for implementing these changes. Businesses can guarantee the model’s relevance and alignment with emerging trends by engaging employees in the review process. Defining when and how employees can contribute input promotes a collaborative approach to governance.

Branding Guidelines

Maintaining consistent branding across diverse social media channels is imperative for large enterprises. The governance model should articulate branding guidelines for external channels, aligning them with established principles for other external communications. This includes standardized templates for platforms like Twitter, guidelines for social sharing, and the proper usage of company logos. Consistency in branding reinforces a cohesive corporate identity across all online touchpoints.

Training & Education

Education is a cornerstone of an effective governance model. Companies should invest in comprehensive training resources for employees, covering various aspects of social media engagement. This involves addressing both favorable and unfavorable customer comments. Considering the dynamic landscape of social media responsibilities, it is essential to provide employees across various departments, like marketing or sales, with the necessary capabilities to adeptly navigate and engage on social platforms.

Approval Processes & Continuity Planning

A well-defined governance model should outline approval processes for employees engaging in social media activities. Questions about who can participate and the process for obtaining approval for official accounts should be clearly addressed. Additionally, incorporating a continuity plan is essential to ensure seamless transitions if an employee handling social media responsibilities departs. This includes the transfer of ownership for accounts to prevent any disruption in online presence.

The Top 3 Risks in Social Media for Business

Reputational Risk

A single misguided tweet or off-brand post can tarnish a company’s reputation. It is crucial to monitor and respond to customer feedback promptly. Social media governance, beyond policies, provides daily practices to identify and address reputational risks in real time.

Breach of Confidentiality

Posting sensitive information or experiencing account breaches poses a significant risk. Integrating compliance and legal regulations into the social media governance model ensures that teams adhere to industry regulations, preventing dissemination of confidential information.

Regulatory Infractions

Compliance with regulations such as GDPR, copyright laws, and fraud prevention is paramount. Including compliance and legal teams in social media strategy provides an added layer of security, preventing inadvertent regulatory infractions.


Managing social media involves more than just creating policies; it requires a comprehensive strategy to help organizations and staff navigate the dynamic social media environment. By integrating the essential elements and principles outlined in this article, companies can develop a strong governance framework that enhances risk management and leverages the advantages of social media to foster brand growth and engagement.

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