I recently asked for help in Drafting up some example Social Media Policy and Strategy Documents, I have had a number of responses both on twitter and offline.
I’d like to highlight a couple of those today regarding Social Media Policy.
Social Media Policy – aka CYA
Yes that is what we’re trying to do when we call the lawyers and revamp our policy documents (or generate new ones). We’re trying to mitigate risk. What happens if Employee Joe tweets that he hates his client? Or what happens if Employee Susan posts drunk pictures of staff on facebook and tags them? What do we allow? What can we control?
I like how some of the topics have been covered by Hillary Danni Davis in Social Media Best Practices – Legal Considerations Specifically,
“Banning employees from social networking and social media sites is both ineffective because of mobile devices, and limits knowledge that can be gleaned from these sites. The key to minimizing risk is ensuring employees understand the policies for an organization.”
If you are looking for an example of policy that goes to far, consider Mashable’s opinion of the AP’s policy. The policy I recommend to adopt while dependent upon the regulations in your industry is simply reflective of your other forms of communication.
Do Current Policies Address Social Media?
Re read them, up date them, verify with a lawyer that they are safe.
Social Media policy could be as simple as including it explicitly (instead of implicitly) where you mention that all employees should mind their Ps and Qs in all forms of written communication. (You do have a policy about email right!?)
An Opportunity to Train
An owner of a small business in my neighborhood conveyed his opinion to me the other day, if someone from his organization were to tweet (or communicate) something that he didn’t feel was in line with their message, or their brand, or appropriate for their business he would view that as an opportunity for him to further train that employee. Perhaps they don’t get the brand/message? Perhaps they didn’t see what harm they could have caused. He would consider that a failure on his part in communication rather than a failure on his part in drafting a policy.
Granted this “trust and train” (or train and trust) method will not work with a large organization, but perhaps we have some lessons to learn from this. Did you hire employees whom you are proud of? Are you communicating/training them about your brand/policy/messaging enough so no matter what the medium (drinking with friends, meeting with clients, or riding the elevator) they will convey the image/brand/message you want for your business?
For those of you that want a concrete example (template etc.) I’m still working on that! Until then I’ll point you to this quality post: 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy (including an example!)
What policy examples have you seen? What has been good? Or bad? Does your office have a policy that limits what you can say in social media? (perhaps you can’t even comment about that!)