Access and Feeds

Social Media: Creating a Corporate Policy

By Dick Weisinger

As much as some organizations might like to ignore it, Social Media is something which is pervading both our home and business lives, and really can’t be ignored.

How to go about addressing it?  Here are nine steps towards formulating a corporate policy around how to deal with Social Media:

1)  Determine who’s responsible for social media policy. What person or group in your organization is responsible for determining policy and responding to questions around it?  Is it you?

2)  Clarify your definition of Social Media. The policy that you create should apply to social media, but social media may mean different things to different people.   It will undoubtedly include Social Networking sites like FaceBook, LinkedIn and MySpace.  It also will include microblogging tools like Twitter.  And blogs and wikis will be included too.  But what about sites where video and images can be shared like YouTube and Flickr?  Your definition should be broad enough so that it does not need to be continually revised as Social Media tools evolve.

3) Who owns what? Which groups within the company will be responsible for managing which social media tools and channels?  Do some belong to Marketing, others to HR, others to sales, etc.  And who owns the content, the company or the contributor?  If a person leaves the company are they allowed to bring any of the content with them that was distributed via social media while they were with the company?

4) Designate Official Content Contributors. Which people will be responsible for making content contributions.  Who will publicly represent the public face of the company?  Who will blog, tweet or chat on behalf of the company?

5) Disclosure. When employees are engaged in Social Media and are not acting as official company contributors, they should be aware of the boundaries of what company activities or information can be openly discussed.  Employees should include their name and the fact that they are not acting as representatives of the company.

6) Confidential and Off-Limit Material. Make clear what items are considered company confidential and off-limit topics and the fact that this kind of material has no place appearing on social media.

7) Create rules of etiquette for Social Media. Social Media author and analyst Charlene Li’s list of ethical behavior for social media is a good starting point.

8) Offer Social Media Training. Training ensures that people understand and can use social media tools effectively.

9) Compare with Other Social Media Policies.   Many examples of corporate social media policies can be found here: 123socialmedia.com or Laurel Paworth.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*