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Creating a Social Media Policy for Your Business

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As more and more companies and businesses jump into social media – creating Facebook fan pages, adding Twitter accounts, and joining LinkedIn groups –

it’s important to create a social media policy to hand out to your staff and employees. Whether it’s a quick and easy guideline to follow, or a full set of instructions, businesses should set this in place early on to help employees understand what is acceptable when representing the company in the social media space.

Ideas to consider in creating a social media policy include:

  • Identify the purpose of the social media account(s). Will you be promoting products? Engaging with your customers? Obtaining feedback?

  • Establish the tone of all accounts. Are you going for a professional or conversational tone? Set guidelines for what is appropriate vs. what will embarrass the company.
  • Include everyone. Especially in larger organizations – include all departments in the guidelines and conversation.
  • Establish company accounts vs. personal accounts. Determine if you want your employees to create a new account specific to the company. This will help draw the line between tweeting about beer runs vs. a company luncheon. Another suggestion is to have your employees tag their Tweets with the company name if they are talking business.
  • Keep it confidential. Reiterate your confidentiality clause – it should stand true for social media as well.
  • Define Ownership. Define up front who owns what accounts and what happens if an employee is let go or leaves the company.
  • Establish a Responsibility List. Sometimes employees will receive complaints, questions, or concerns in their personal accounts, once they establish where they work. Put together a quick list of answers or accounts for them to direct the consumer in a timely fashion.
  • Revisit and Revise. Social media continues to evolve and change. Your social media policy should as well! Set dates to revisit and revise your document for redistribution.

Want to read a sample? Check out IBM, Intel, or the Mayo Clinic!

Want to share your policy? Include a link and I’m happy to add it to the list!

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Credit: SXC

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld.com. She has been a freelance writer and blogger for over a decade, writing for About.com, iVillage and b5media. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni.


Feedback

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  • socialmediaguru

    Policy and restrictions are being decided everyday by IT managers. The security of company networks are at stake but the potential for innovation using social media is a large enough carrot for the discussion of how to properly utilize the medium continues. Palo Alto networks came up with a whitepaper, http://bit.ly/d2NZRp, which will explore the issues surrounding social media in the workplace. It is important to not only understand the immediate benefits of doing business how one lives, but the threat it presents to a company’s greater ROI and productivity when it comes to the server’s safety and security.

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