Feel like it’s time for your company to put together some social media guidelines but not sure where to start?
Want to see what other companies are doing in this area? Need some tips on what should be covered?
Establishing clear principles and guidelines for how your employees will conduct themselves in the world of social media is critical. There’s too much at stake – both on the upside and the downside – to ignore this.
We’ve assembled a comprehensive list of resources below to help you get started in developing a social media policy. We’ve organized them into a couple of sections – Advice and Resources, Nonprofits and Associations, and Examples of Social Media Policies.
Let us know if there’s something valuable we’ve left out and we’ll add it to our list.
Please Take Our Poll
We’re also curious how many of you work for organizations that have social media policies in place so please take our poll. And please share this poll with others as we’d love to get as diverse and broad a response as possible to better see what the trend is.
Helpful Advice & Resources:
- 10 Things You Should Cover in Your Social Networking Policy
From TechRepublic.com: Deb Shinder looks at 10 key considerations that such guidelines should address including “defining a clear company philosophy upfront” to “defining what is meant by social media or social networking” to “identifying oneself as an employee of the company” and more.
- Disclosure Best Practices Toolkit
From the Social Media Business Council (formerly the Blog Council) : Draft series of checklists to help companies, their employees, and their agencies learn the appropriate and transparent ways to interact with blogs, bloggers, and the people who interact with them.
- Corporate Social Media Policy: Top 10 Guidelines
From PR2 Squared: Free template for a social media policy based on a policy the agency helped one of their clients develop. Useful starting point for a social media policy of your own.
- 10 Steps to Creating a Social Media Policy for your Company
From ClicktoClient: 10 solid things to consider when creating your company’s social media policy.
- Do you need a Corporate Social Media Policy?
From Janet Fouts: Here Janet provides 3 solid reasons that your organization should implement a social media policy – from “setting branding standards for communications” to “educating your team” to “setting expectations for behavior.”
- Should Your Company Have a Social Media Policy?
From Mashable: Sharlyn Lauby provides advice on why your company should have a social media policy, who it should apply to, when to implement your policy and more.
- When Does a Social Media Policy Go Too Far? Ask the Associated Press
From Mashable: Benn Parr’s discusses a controversial element of AP’s social media policy that requires employees to control not only what they say, but also what their friends say on their Facebook page.
- 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy
From Mashable: Whether you’re writing your social media policy from the get-go, or letting it develop organically in reaction to situations as they arise, Sharlyn Lauby offers up 10 things you should definitely consider.
- Social Media Usage Guidelines: Don’t moon people with cameras (or at least hide your face when you do)
From Beth’s Blog: In this post, Beth Kanter provides helpful insights on social media usage guidelines. Key according to Beth is to create guidelines that are simple, flexible, common sense and encouraging – and are also accompanied by education where you discuss potential situations and discuss what to do.
- B.L. Ochman’s blog: Everything You Need to Know About Corporate Social Media Policies
B.L. Ochman’s blog: A different take on social media policies that sums it up in two words: RESPECTING CUSTOMERS.
- Drafting Trouble-Free Social Media Policies
From Law.com’s Legal Technology: Review of legal risks of unfettered communications on social networks and advice on developing social media policies in light of these risks.
- Social Media Policies For Your Company: Internal Policies `
From Dave Fleet: Dave outline three internal policies that organizations should consider when getting started in social media: a blogging policy, an outbound commenting policy, & employee guidelines.
- Social Media Policies For Your Company: External Policies
From Dave Fleet: Suggests social media policies that organizations might consider posting publicly, for everyone to see. There are two: 1. Comment moderation policy 2. Interaction policy
- Twitter Tips: How to Write a Twitter Policy for Your Employees
From CIO.com: Advice on giving your employees some rules of the road regarding Twitter from “updating your surely outdated code of business conduct” to “identifying who has a Twitter account within your company” to “encouraging disclaimers.”
- Corporate Social Media Policies and Guidelines
From Christy Web: Ideas about what companies should consider when developing social media guidelines and policies. Also includes links to other resources on social media policies.
- 30 Tips to Manage Employees Online
From AriWriter: Ari Herzog offers up a nice list of 30 suggested guidelines to provide to your employees for how they should handle themselves online.
- Social Media for Business: The Dos & Don’ts of Sharing
From Mashable: It doesn’t matter if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr; your online personality is not only part of your overall brand, it becomes an interactive experience for you and your business. So, who is the face or voice of your brand and what do they share? It’s a very important decision in and of itself. Just as you create branding guidelines and key messaging guides, so too should you dedicate time to creating your social media personality.
- Elements of Web 2.0 Communication Guidelines
From Altitude Branding: Amber Naslund does a great job capturing 7 key elements of consideration when developing web 2.0 guidelines.
- PolicyTool for Social Media
PolicyTool is a policy generator that has you answer a brief questionnaire and provides you with a complete Social Media Policy customized to your company.
Nonprofits and Associations
- Does Your Organization Need A Social Media Policy?
From Beth’s Blog: Fantastic overview and guide to social media policies – targeted at non-profits but good stuff for everyone.
- Social media policies
From Association Marketing Springboard: Lindy Dreyer provides a very comprehensive four-part series on social media policies for associations.
- Where’s Your Org’s Social Media Policy?
From Getting Attention Blog: Nancy E. Schwartz addresses the benefits of having a social media policy along with core issues to cover – targeted at non-profits.
- Creating a Social Media Policy for Your Nonprofit
From Wild Apricot Blog: Advice for nonprofits on working out a social media policy for your staff and volunteers who blog and chat and comment online, where the personal and professional lines often blur.
Examples of Social Media Policies:
- List of 40 Social Media Staff Guidelines
From Laurel Papworth: List and links to range of organization’s social media staff guidelines including GM Blogging Policies, Cisco’s Internet Posting Policies and more.
- 3 Great Social Media Policies to Steal From
From Mashable: Jennifer Van Grove highlights the social media policies of Kodak, Intel and IBM.
- 16 social media guidelines used by real companies
From E-Consultancy: Nice rundown of specific social media guidelines from 16 real companies from IBM (Don’t Pick Fights) to Intel (Perception is reality) to Zappos (Be Real and Use Your Best Judgment).
- Online Database of Social Media Policies
Database of 80+ organization’s social media policies allows you to search and filter by industry. Provided by Chris Boudreaux, author of the upcoming book “Social Media Governance.”
- Blogging Policies
From NewPR Wiki: Links to Blogging policies from wide range of organizations including the US Navy, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Harvard law School and many others.
- Social Media Policy Examples
From 123socialmedia: Links to some 30+ different organization’s social media policies
- Wal-Mart Blows It With Twitter Terms of Service
From CIO: Critique of Walmart’s Twitter Terms of Service
- A Twitter-Like Twitter Policy
From Beth’s Blog: Beth Kanter highlights a social media policy in 140 characters.
- Selection of specific social media policy examples: