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Do you have the fundamentals covered in your social media policy?

April 14, 2010


The Fundamentals of Social Media Policies

  • Is the policy collaborative? Letting staff know what they can and can’t do in their own time?
  • Is the policy positive? Does it teach engagement in a satisfying way between staff and customers or is it negative with a bunch of “Thou Shalt Not Post Pictures on Facebook During Your LunchBreak”?  Tone IS important – is it fun to read, informative and everyday speech?  Do you engage with your staff as you would with customers on a blog – an authentic, personal and respectful voice?
  • Is it truly public and does it serve the staff or the company?  For example, if I trashtalk Widget company, a community member might point out I am a competitor and then send me to my own companies public guidelines. Yes, that does happen.
  • Does the policy extend to contractors?  Drivers who drive the senior people around, can’t trashtalk them on the drivers forum. The advertising agency can’t post up a viral video of how their ex customer is a wasted space because they didn’t get their pitch? This has happened.
  • Are the guidelines, now public, under creative commons so other companies can use them and help provide a fully informed educated ecosystem community?
  • Look at all the different names for basically one document? Does Email Policies becomes Social Media Policies?
  • Check out how different industries – tech, education, military, government, art, public affairs – are prioritizing their guidelines. What is included, what is top of the list, how does it change?
  • Use a good lawyer to help you understand the nuances of your industry and business when establishing your social media policy
  • Train staff in your social media policy, usually it is best when you are establishing your presence but should be regularly updated as changes in this medoum happen rapidly.

If you need more information on setting up a social media policy for your work place, please contact Vivienne Storey on

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