Social Media at Work – What should a Social Media Policy contain?

15 11 2010

In todays technology-framed times more and more people and businesses are embracing Social Media and using it for a variety of things.  Be it contributing to industry debates, research, marketing, networking or resourcing, the way we are choosing to communicate with each other has shifted once again.  Sites such as Linked In, WordPress,Twitter, Facebook etc have created a permanent space on many people’s web-browers favourites lists and are growing in followers by the day.

In light of this shift, organsations now need to consider the impact of this Social Networking revolution and how it could impact their business.  It’s important that staff are clear on what is appropriate in the use of Social Media at work as distinct from generic internet usage.

With this in mind here are some questions to help guide you towards what your social media policy might need to contain:

1)    What purposes are you happy for your staff to use Social Media sites at work?

2)    Who is able to speak on behalf of your company?

3)    What sort of comments are you happy for your staff to make about your business?

4)    Who owns the content of what your staff write on Social Media sites such as Linked In, Blogs, Facebook etc?

5)    When networking, who’s the relationship between the staff member or your organisation?

6)    What happens if the staff member spells things incorrectly, or mis-quotes/mis-represents something?

7)    How do you know what your staff are saying about your business?

8)    How and when do you monitor Social Media usage amongst your staff?

9)    What happens when a member of staff joins/leaves?

10) If you have a company account on one of these sites, who has the log in details?  Who has access?

11) How and who will handle responses to comments?

12)  What happens if a member of staff says something defamatory, libelous etc?

13)  What sites are your staff allowed to access and what sort of things are they allowed to look at (this will link into your internet usage policy)

14)  How much time should be spent on these sites whilst the individual is at work?

Of course your Social Media policy relates to people’s use of Social Media at work, so whilst you’re concerned with what an individual is saying about your business, keep in mind privacy laws.

If you’d like more information or to discuss this in further detail, please get in touch with Michelle Fischer on 01202 853647.

Alternatively, read what Mashable has to say about the subject here: http://mashable.com/2009/04/27/social-media-policy/

For examples of business’s Social Media Policies: http://socialmediagovernance.com/policies.php