How Social Media Policies can drive brand value?

Every company is faced with the challenge to give employees guidance how to handle social media in their corporate environment. Most of the large companies have Social Media Policies in place to instruct them what they could and should do. Many companies are concerned that the social media activities of their employees could potentially harm the firm’s reputation. Therefore, most of the policies are focused on legal, ethnic and reputation risks.

Encouraging employees to seize brand building opportunities
Some companies follow a complete different path. Many stakeholders, such as clients or media, value the credible voice of employees in social media. If companies are not using this source, they are missing a huge opportunity to drive brand value. The University of Milan has (IULM) published recently a research about Social Media Policies of 25 Fortune 500 companies 2015. The astonishing result is that only 13 out of 25 companies encourage employees to communicate in Social Media. Amongst the companies who do, are Coca Cola, Starbucks and UPS. They educate and encourage their employees to participate in social media and thus contribute to brand building activities. Some of them ask their employees explicitly to declare their professional identity when they talk about corporate topics.

Five recommendations
Companies are well advised to enable and support their employees in this brand ambassador role instead of preventing them from social media activities or even threatening them with negative consequences. If you follow the six recommendations what companies should do, you can fully explore the potential of brand building through Social Media Policies:

  1. Encourage employees to seize opportunities offered by social media which support the business while outlining risk and legal issues.
  2. Motivate employees to be authentic by explaining them how the professional identity can strengthen credibility.
  3. Do not threat your employees with sanctions or negative consequences.
  4. Enable your employees with education and counselling how to use social media in a spontaneous, discretionary and convincing way.
  5. Build links between your Social Media Policy, your brand values and the overall Social Media Strategy.
  6. Include these tools in internal communication programmes.


Ute Dehn has managed internal communication projects over many years both as corporate communication leader and senior advisor. She has developed and implemented social media strategies and policies for several companies, e.g. for Switzerland’s biggest health insurance. Ute will be able to assist you in all matters of social media strategies and policies. For further details and information see contact details below:

Ute Dehn Communications
Aeschenvorstadt 24
CH-4051 Basel
Phone: +41 61 283 40 31
Mobile: +41 79 470 21 18