As we dive deeper and deeper into the world of social media (FINALLY!), we’ve decided to develop a policy that discusses the purpose of our involvement and what our general expectations are. I’m co-authoring the social media guidelines for my company now, which has been a really fun project for me.
While in the midst of writing, I saw a question on LinkedIn about companies who have written social media guidelines. I threw my own thoughts into the ring and said this:
We’re in the process of creating guidelines now. I wanted to make sure that our policy wasn’t bogged down with legal-ese, was easy to understand and carried a positive “Here’s what you can do” tone instead of a negative “Here’s what you can’t do” attitude. I think it’s really important to encourage employees to get involved, but remind them of key common sense items. These are some of the things we prioritized:
- Taking responsibility for what is published
- Respecting the audience
- Adding value
- Observing copyright/fair use laws
- Refraining from discussing confidential/financial information
- Remembering that employees’ online presences contribute to the organization’s reputation but do not speak for the org/company
- Making sure that work comes first and not letting social media interfere with the day-to-day tasks
What I didn’t mention is that the goal of this is really to have your organization come across as a rockstar. People are already involved in social media (example: this blog) so do you want to get behind them and give them some guidance while supporting their enthuaism for the medium or do you want to give them a set of obnoxious rules that they have to follow and essentially stifle their creativity? Duh.
The other important thing to keep in mind is that this will take more time than you think to complete. As with all things related to change at the corporate level, you will meet resistance, so it’s best to prepare for it. Getting these turned out is taking longer than I would like, but it happens. Deal with it.
I also wanted to refer people to external resources for more info. Mashable has great information about technology and social media in general and Sharlyn Lauby wrote an excellent summary of social media policy must haves. IBM did a great job of hitting key points while maintaining a positive, can-do tone and should definitely be checked out.
Anyone know of any great social media resources? Have any thoughts of your own as you’ve read/written guidelines?