Social Media Policy

1. Introduction

There are many benefits to using social media. Alongside other communications it can help Bidvest Waltons to communicate with its stakeholders through known channels; to consult and engage; and be more transparent and accountable. This document describes how and why Bidvest Waltons will establish and manage its corporate social media presence across various social media platforms.

2. Objectives for the use of Social Media

    • Raise public awareness of who we are and what we do.
    • Extend reach of existing corporate messages by building relationships with relevant audiences.
    • Provide additional channels for audiences to interact with Bidvest Waltons, provide feedback, seek help and suggest ways we can improve our service.
    • Monitor online mentions of Bidvest Waltons, engaging with our critics and key influencers to resolve problems/dissatisfaction.
    • Provide live coverage of events for those who cannot attend.
    • Leverage existing web content such as news releases, blogs and statements, encouraging traffic to eCommerce sites (including waltons.co.za and backtoschool.co.za) or other Bidvest Waltons maintained social media channels.
    • Act as a communication channel to use if other channels become unavailable, and as a medium for crisis communications.

3. Content Principles

    • Social media posts will be clear and use language accessible and suitable for the platform on which they appear.
    • Language will be in line with the company’s voice of being intelligent and thoughtful in its tone and reflect Bidvest Waltons’ position as an authoritative and credible business.
    • Updates will be timely, addressing current topics of interest to our stakeholders.
    • Updates will be informative to various stakeholders with links to the Bidvest Waltons websites where relevant.
    • In keeping with the knowledge-sharing culture of social media, Bidvest Waltons will pursue opportunities to signpost relevant content elsewhere.
    • Where possible and appropriate, Bidvest Waltons will post media such as photos or videos or audio material where we have an appropriate lawful basis to do so.

4. Impartiality

In order to remain an effective body, it is important that Bidvest Waltons remains impartial in all respects. This will be a consideration in the management of all social media channels.
    • Depending on the platform, Bidvest Waltons may connect with or follow other professionally relevant parties via social networks. This should not be viewed as an endorsement of any kind – political, commercial, or otherwise.
    • For purposes of engagement, openness and sharing relevant information, Bidvest Waltons may repost the communications of other parties. This should not be viewed as an endorsement of the other party.
    • When posting messages to microblogging sites such as Twitter, Bidvest Waltons may use hashtags (#) to improve search visibility. These hashtags should be viewed in context of the message and wider discussion and are not an endorsement of any persons, products or services mentioned therein.

5. Engaging and responding

    • Bidvest Waltons will not to respond to all comments posted on its various social media platforms. However, Bidvest Waltons will always aim to provide a response in the following circumstances:
        • There is an opportunity to raise public awareness of who we are and what we do;
        • When maintaining or protecting the reputation of Bidvest Waltons;
        • When addressing the topic or theme of multiple comments.
    • Social media accounts will be monitored during weekday office hours. Bidvest Waltons cannot ensure comments will be viewed during evenings, weekends or during public holidays.

6. Operation of social media accounts

    • All social media posts must be first cleared by a relevant staff member within Bidvest Waltons.
    • The views expressed by Bidvest Waltons staff members on personal social media accounts should not be interpreted as those of Bidvest Waltons. Opinions expressed on personal social media accounts should be clearly indicated as such.
    • Bidvest Waltons asks its staff to be mindful when using social media, particularly when commenting on contentious issues.

7. Social media platforms and resources

    • The following is a list of the social media platforms in use by Bidvest Waltons:
Google
Facebook
Instagram
LinkedIn
YouTube
Twitter
WhatsApp for Business

8. Campaign specific accounts

To avoid diluting the regular corporate social media channels, Bidvest Waltons may on occasion create campaign specific accounts.
Bidvest Waltons will consider creating a campaign specific social media account when the subject matter is niche or specialist (i.e. of limited interest to the bulk of our followers; or with a specific target audience such as young people/women).
When additional accounts are used Bidvest Waltons will cross-reference and repost any content of relevance to the different sets of followers.

9. Social media resources

The resource impact of maintaining and monitoring of Bidvest Waltons’ social media accounts is low relative to other communications channels. The following tools and software packages are used to more effectively engage with and monitor the social media space:
      • Google Analytics
      • Other tools as determined by the prevailing marketing agency
Source: This document is sourced from Information Commissioner’s Office, Social Media Policy, 2013, licensed under the Open Government Licence (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/).