Over the past couple weeks, we’ve shared a series of posts based on our recent ebook, The Building Blocks of a Sound Social Media Policy.
Here’s the roundup along with some of the main points.
- Identify the Purpose
- Sync with Established Corporate Principles
- Get Approval from Legal, IT, HR and the Executive Team
- Write in Plain English
- Conform to Your Company Culture
- Make it as Brief as Possible
- Direct Employees to More Information
Now, what specific sections should you include in a company social media policy?
Remind employees to use their best judgment, and that they are individually responsible for what they choose to publish and how they choose to interact with others online.
If the separation of a personal and professional online presence is important for your industry, state your company’s stance and encourage employees to interact accordingly. Encourage employees to use a disclaimer about their shared thoughts not representing those of their employer, and direct them an internal, official spokesperson who can handle media inquiries if employees happen to be contacted directly.
This section reminds employees to always be respectful to others on social media channels, especially when communicating with coworkers, talking about competitors, or conversing with existing or potential customers.
Remind employees what company information is private versus public, but collaborate with your legal team to help you be specific in your definition. In the U.S., any prohibited discussion must make exceptions for activities protected under Section 7 of the NLRA.
This section of a social media policy reminds employees to obtain the proper permissions and give credit where credit is due when sharing another party’s content. This can be as detailed as directing employees to more information on obtaining usage rights, or to Flickr’s Creative Commons search or Google’s Advanced Search for content that can be repurposed or modified.
Depending on your company or industry, you may have specific legal or regulatory obligations that have to be translated into terms that apply to social media use.
For example, compliance, record-keeping and security are critical for the finance industry, so financial institutions typically have a section of their social media policy dedicated to informing employees how to abide by the FINRA rules governing communications with the public in social media.
Once you have a social media policy in place, how do you encourage its adoption by the whole company?
- Incorporate it into Employee Training
- Make it Accessible
- Repackage and Remind
- Revise as Needed
- Regularly Review Employee Accounts for Compliance
For more information, download The Building Blocks of a Sound Social Media Policy.
We hope you found this series helpful. Comments or questions? Fire away below.