Where to Start with Social Media Policy

It’s a given. Almost every business and organization should add social media to their marketing strategy.  Perhaps you even have a marketing strategy that involves social media, but you just haven’t taken the plunge yet. This is the case for many businesses and organizations as getting into social media is a step that tends to raise a lot of questions.  In reality, both the beauty of and reason companies and organizations might shy away from social media is that it gives the public the opportunity to share their thoughts in a very public forum.

Social Media Policy is a way for businesses and organizations to protect themselves in the world of social media.

Before Facebook and Twitter, people would have to go through traditional media, such as television or newspapers, to get their voices heard.  Today, with social media, that middle-person has been taken out of the process and the limit to which people could share their thoughts has been dramatically reduced.  This, essentially, is the major point of hesitation for businesses and organizations as it takes away some of the control that many have become accustomed to with traditional marketing and advertising.  However, there may be a way to dive into social media while at the same time reducing the potential for vulnerability, and that is through a Social Media Policy.

With that, here are some social media policy examples that we both collected ourselves and borrowed from a post on the popular ’123 Social Media’ blog.  They present policies that have been developed by major corporations around the world.  The goal of these policies is not censorship, but it is to raise awareness of company’s/organization’s expectations to avoid potential conflicts.  Our hope is that these examples will help you to develop your business’ or organizations’ own policy to help make it a little easier to jump into the world of social media.

SELECT SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY EXAMPLES:

About.com Blogging and Social Media Policy Sample

IBM Social Computing Guidelines

ESPN Social Media Guidelines for Employees

HP Blogging Code of Conduct

Harvard Law School Weblogs Policy

BBC Guidelines for Personal Use of Social Media

  • http://twitter.com/dhallventures David Hall

    “In reality, both the beauty of and problem with social media is that it gives the public the opportunity to share their thoughts in a very public forum”

    The beauty of this is that when you get negative feedback, you now have the responsibility & duty to make changes to the company, or at least reach out to that disgruntled customer. Its time that people start getting more involved with their customer base and stop being so lazy…after all, if you didn’t have customers, you wouldn’t have a company in the first place.