To Post or Not to Post?: The Importance of Social Media Guidelines

Employee of the Month Reserved Parking Sign

The topic of social media guidelines and policies has come up several times recently. I keep running across blogs topics about social media guidelines and employee infractions that may have been avoided had policies been in place.

Although, implementing tons of rules and regulations may not the best way to go for a number of reasons including:

  • encouraging appropriate social media usage can actually be beneficial to companies
  • employees spending more time trying to find ways around the rules rather than working

That being said organizations should implement some sort of rules for their employees as it relates to social media posting and usage.

Here are a few things you might want to include in your organization’s social media policy:

  • Be authentic, honest and conversational in your posts. Don’t get caught up in the marketing of the organization.
  • Use good judgment when posting content and never include confidential information about your company, your clients, or your suppliers.
  • Listen to people and respond to as many comments as possible with constructive feedback. Negative comments should also be answered – avoid being defensive.
  • When you posting comments about your organization use your real name. This helps make your affiliation to the organization real.
  • Implement peer reviews. It’s always nice to have someone double check grammar and technical details before it goes out to the world.

A few things you should not want to include in your organization’s social media policy:

  • Avoid racist and/or derogatory comments.
  • Steering away from politics and religion is also a good idea.
  • Do not implement lengthy content approval processes. Your employees want to be involved in discussions as they happen.
  • Avoid participation restrictions. Provide employees with guidelines to participate and if employees do not play by the rules address the situation as a performance management issue with the employee(s) independently.
  • Avoid topics of religion and politics
  • Stay away from racist commentary

What’s your experience with implementing social media guidelines and policies in your organization? Leave us your comments.

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