Social Media Governance: What It Is and Associated Best Practices

Shalini Murthy

January 25, 202410 min read

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Picture this scenario: A highly reputable company schedules a standard message for their social media. Due to an oversight in its social media management, the post unexpectedly turns into a viral PR fiasco. Consequently, the company's social media page becomes inundated with negative comments. 

Sounds like a nightmare?

Well, it is. But it can be prevented. With the constant influx of new platforms and trends, many organizations struggle to manage their social media accounts effectively. The reason is the absence of a comprehensive social media governance plan. So, let's talk about the importance of creating a social media governance plan and how it can help you maintain your brand’s reputation during a crisis.  

Table of Contents

What is social media governance? 

A social media governance plan is a structured framework for your business to manage its presence on social media platforms. It contains rules, processes and strategies that help you understand and mitigate the risks associated with social media. 

A strong governance plan gives you the confidence to manage your social channels, guide your employees on how to use social media and answer key questions, such as: 

  • What are the strategic goals of social media marketing? 

  • Who decides when to revise social media policies? 

  • What are the criteria for social media success? 

  • How do you measure and report the success of social media campaigns? 

  • Do you have a detailed plan to handle social media crises? 

A well-drafted social media governance plan can help you not only mitigate risk but also execute high-impact social media campaigns.  

Importance of social media governance 

Social media helps deepen customer interactions and relationships. But because these interactions happen in public, mistakes can be catastrophic —both from a reputational and cost perspective.  

An effective social media governance plan benefits you in the following ways: 

1. Reputation management: A good social media governance strategy helps your organization maintain a consistent brand image. It also provides guidelines that your agents can use to manage customer feedback. This allows you to focus on delivering fast responses and building a positive online identity.  

Quick Tip: To mitigate risk and protect your brand reputation, you need to monitor, manage and protect your brand across channels in real time. Sprinkr's online reputation management solution captures vital customer feedback across 30+ social and digital channels — so you can uncover and act on customer sentiment before it impacts your brand reputation.     

Leverage Sprinklr-s out-of-the-box crisis monitoring dashboards to mitigate the impact of a potential or actual crisis

2. Legal compliance: A well-developed social media governance plan includes guidelines around data protection laws and compliance requirements. By following them, you can steer clear of legal issues such as copyright infringement and the misuse of customer data. Additionally, you can use the plan to drive social interactions that align with your brand guidelines. 

3. Risk reduction: Your social media governance plan should contain security protocols to protect your business from cyberattacks. Use them to manage threats such as data breaches, and to build airtight incident response plans that minimize damage and secure customer data. 

Did you know? Sprinklr’s AI-powered Smart Alerts helps you mitigate risks by alerting cross-functional teams with all the information they need to act on potential crises. 

Sprinklr-s AI-powered Smart Alerts help you take action before potential crises become brand headlines

4. Employee advocacy: Employee advocacy can transform an organization's social standing and reputation to a large extent. Your employees can be your best advocates if they use their social media presence to voice their genuine support for your organization. Your governance plan simply channels that voice in a way that strengthens your brand.  

Quick Tip: It’s a well-known fact that employee advocacy expands your reach and creates new avenues for engagement. Guess what, Sprinklr Advocacy’s Admin Console allows your admin to choose specific target user groups, ensuring that the content feed is visible exclusively to these selected groups.

Admins can customize various aspects such as adding a banner image using the Admin Console

5. Monitor KPIs: Most organizations make data-driven decisions by monitoring KPIs listed in their governance plan. Use a KPI monitoring tool to derive relevant insights from strategies that worked in the past. Then, use these KPIs to calibrate your goals and social media campaigns.

6. Customer engagement: A governance plan informs the way your organization handles customer feedback and inquiries. By prescribing an empathetic and solution-oriented approach, you can build stronger relationships with customers.  

Quick Tip: If your agents are constantly bogged down by routine queries, Sprinklr’s Agent Assist can help them solve customer queries 50% faster by automating routine tasks and providing AI-powered assistance in real time.    

Respond smarter with Sprinklr’s AI-generated brand compliant responses.

7. Efficient resource usage: Organizations can identify relevant platforms with ease by following the budget and resource allocations mentioned in the governance plan. This helps in maximizing your social media returns. 

8. Scalability: As your business grows, so do your social media needs. A solid social media governance plan will help you accommodate new technologies, strategies and platforms to scale your business faster. 

8 key components of social media governance for businesses 

Every social media governance strategy serves two purposes: 

  • Build an enterprise-wide, standard social media communication protocol This protocol serves as the rubric for consistent and cohesive messaging across all your social media channels. Use it to craft messages that align perfectly with your brand personality and campaign or business goals. This will help create a social media presence that is strategic, clear and appealing to your audience. 

  • Create risk mitigation plans to minimize risks and secure enterprise assets Your risk mitigation plans will help you proactively implement preventive measures, address each risk as it emerges and outline effective recovery plans. This will result in a strong and resilient online presence. 

Learn More: 10 must-have risk mitigation strategies for your business 

Now let's get to the meat of the matter. Here are the eight fundamental elements of a successful social media governance plan. 

1. Social media policy development 

With over 4.88 billion people worldwide using social media, no modern organization can afford not to have a comprehensive social media policy. This social media policy will serve as guiding light for all your employees, partners and stakeholders on how to conduct themselves across different social media channels.  

A bar chat comparing the small but noticeable disparity between internet users and social media users


To establish clear expectations, you should identify your core objectives and outline a detailed policy for social media channels. Anyone interacting on behalf of the organization on social media must strictly adhere to this framework.  

2. Risk evaluation and crisis management 

Most businesses believe they are well-equipped to evaluate risk and handle crises. Until a crisis erupts and they find themselves woefully underprepared. You don't want to be taken by surprise. So, invest the time and resources required to build a comprehensive risk evaluation and crisis management plan. 

Risk evaluation involves anticipating PR problems, data breaches or compliance issues. While crisis management includes protocols for handling negative comments, public backlash and emergencies.  

In 2021, a global fast food behemoth's well-meaning Women's Day tweet went viral for all the wrong reasons. They wanted to call attention to the fact that only 20% of restaurant chefs were women. But the public outcry to the post forced the brand to take down the tweet and issue an apology. 

Social media risk is very real. So, identifying possible threats and weaknesses, as well as learning to manage failures in your organization's social media strategy, is critical.  

3. Education and training

These days it's important to assess the social media training needs of your employees and provide them with the right knowledge and tools to navigate social media safely.  

Recently, an hourly wage employee of a five-star hotel was fired because he liked a controversial tweet by a Tibetan separatist group. This cost the hotel a huge loss as they were forced to close bookings across their hundreds of hotels in China.  

Empower your employees with the training and awareness they need to portray your company well on social media. Over time, they will be able to predict social media trends and even help upgrade your existing governance plan. 

4. Social media management — roles and responsibilities 

Two employees from a large pizza chain posted a prank video that disgusted millions of viewers and eventually led to their arrest. The brand's reputation suffered terribly. At one point in time, the unappetizing video showed up in five out of twelve search results for the brand on Google.  

A rogue post or a misguided tweet can do serious damage to your organization's online image. Social media management needs strong checks and balances. Creating an organizational framework and reporting structure helps your employees understand their roles better and drives accountability. 

Quick Tip: Having a hard time keeping your communication on-brand? With Sprinklr Social, you can prevent potential PR crises with full account access control and automatically stop publishing (when needed) across channels.   

Mitigate risk with the account-level permissions and governance capabilities of Sprinklr Social.

Learn More: Social media project management strategies  

5. Content strategy 

Your content strategy largely revolves around content goals, such as increasing web traffic or building brand authority, along with a content calendar and content plan that will help you accomplish those goals. 

Make sure that your content strategy reflects your brand values, customer expectations and broader social media trends before you implement it. 

 Not too long ago, a famous fast food joint tried to inject humor into its social media posts with a custom hashtag. What started as a simple tweet ended up being critiqued by users. This was because the hashtag was already widely used for a totally different, decidedly less innocuous reason.  

With high-quality, engaging content, your business can drive collaboration and streamline content marketing and social media campaigns. Invest in good content marketing software to ensure that your social media content is consistent with your organization's brand voice and objectives.  

Did you know? Generative capabilities are deeply integrated into Sprinklr to drive use cases like content ideation, copy creation and review, translation and more.

Sprinklr AI+ helps you generate campaign ideas and develop strategies in a few clicks

Learn More: How to build a social media content strategy

6. Monitoring and evaluation 

Many companies have a dedicated social media listening center that monitors the staggering number of conversations happening around the brand.  

This data is mined to create relevant social posts, build new product features and even make insight-driven marketing decisions. It's a key step toward making your company more customer centric. 

Social media monitoring and analytics tools help you understand the sentiments of your target audience. The right tool can transform your effectiveness and relevance on social media, so make sure your governance plan includes all the social media monitoring tools your team would need.  

Learn More: Top social media KPIs for every business 

7. Security compliance

Every social media channel has strict terms and conditions that users must adhere to. For businesses, it’s especially important to comply with regulations related to data protection, copyright and industry-specific restrictions. 

Former US president Donald Trump's accounts were banned across various social media accounts because his content was deemed objectionable. In fact, in the first half of 2020, X suspended almost 925,000 accounts due to rule violations

Clearly, it doesn't matter how powerful you are. Every business, regardless of size or clout, must toe the line if they wish to use social media channels. Your governance plan must clearly outline the guidelines for continuous and full compliance.  

8. Ethical principles

Social media can be a messy and trigger-happy place. That's why it's important to define ethical norms and standards in your social media governance plan. This includes the steps you will take to promote transparency, honesty and responsible data use. 

A celebrity cosmetic brand was sued for deceptive advertising on their social media channels. This lawsuit stemmed from an old advertisement that was deemed unethical and cost them almost a million dollars in settlements. By adhering to ethical principles outlined in their governance plan, this costly mistake could have been prevented. 

When it comes to communicating the ethical standards, you expect your employees to uphold, clarity is essential. Flesh out these standards in your governance plan to ensure everyone is on the same page.  

Final thoughts 

To effectively manage social media and handle social crises, you need a reliable and agile social media management strategy. This starts with a robust social media governance plan. A good plan can help you capitalize on opportunities and stay ahead of evolving trends.  

With Sprinklr Social, your social media team gains powerful listening capabilities and ensures global compliance through streamlined workflow approvals and fail-safe moderation processes.  

Book a demo today to learn more.  

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