7 Tips for Creating an Effective Social Media Policy

Establishing a solid social media policy will help protect your company, and your employees!

Social media is pervasive. Social media exponentially increases the potential for positive interactions with customers and prospects. Social media can also, however, exponentially increase the organization’s exposure to risks. Social media puts an organization’s reputation on the front line, and employee use of social media can threaten the organization’s control over that reputation.

These seven tips will help you assemble a social mediapolicy that will help reduce the risks.

FREE Sample Social Media Policy. Download this PDF “Create your Social Media Policy Today!

1. Outline Acceptable Use
Given the great opportunities and great risks of both organization and employee use of social media, organizations that expect to use, monitor, and control social media must have an articulated social media policy. An effective social media policy protects the organization by setting boundaries around what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. Further, it empowers employees by letting them know what the limits are, which gives them a comfort level as to what they can and cannot do online.

2. Make it Part of the Overall Communication Policy
The goal is to articulate and define a clear social media policy. This policy should be a key part of an overall messaging and communication policy that focuses on the use of corporate email, personal Webmail, instant messaging tools, collaborative workspaces, cloud-based storage tools, and any other capability through which individuals might share corporate information.

3. Ensure Policy Granularity
Furthermore, a policy should have sufficient granularity so that differing roles within the organization are clearly subject to different policies.

4. Identify Specific Tools That Can and Cannot be Used
Specific tools that can and cannot be used should be clearly determined, preferably along with a rationale for the decision. This includes the social media sites themselves, as well as the platforms by which these sites are accessed: home computers, smartphones, desktop computers at work, etc.

5. State that Management Has the Right to Monitor
Corporate policies should clearly state that management reserves the right to monitor employee communication via social media, when it has the right to act on this information, and that content may be retained for an indefinite period.

6. Include Succession Planning
Some discussion of succession planning should also be a part of social media policies. For example, when an employee leaves the organization, the corporate policy should include provisions about “ownership” of the followers or friends of that employee. For example, do followers on Twitter belong to the employer or employee? Are an employee’s Facebook posts the property of his or her employer if they were posted during work hours?

7. Mix of policy and Technology
Additionally, organizations can use specific technology to help enforce policy. These tools can include social media monitoring and archiving software solutions

FREE Social Media Policy Template

To help you in creating your social media policy, GWAVA has created a Social Media Policy Template. To download this template, visit: http://info.gwava.com/sample-social-media-policy

*Information comes from the GWAVA/Osterman whitepaper, “Why All Organizations Need to Manage and Archive Social Media” To download the full paper, visit http://gwava.com/White_Papers/Need-Archive-SocialMedia.php

Photo Credit: social-media-iphone by Dustin W. Stout is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Que Mangus

Director of Product Marketing

Micro Focus

follow me on twitter or connect on LinkedIn

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