Components of a Social Media Policy

Parts of a Social Media Policy

Companies are quickly becoming aware of the risks and opportunities that the growth of Social Media is creating for their organizations.

Internal Benefits

The benefits are both external and internal. Some of the positive results of a Social Media policy internally are that the existence of the policy raises awareness for all levels of management within the organization. Executives and managers of the company are compelled to address these issues in personal employee meetings and departmental meetings with a heightened level of importance.

The employee, also, becomes aware of the magnitude of the issue. Without a Social Media policy, employees may have a nonchalant and reckless attitude regarding their actions on Social Media pertaining to their employer.

The Parts of the Policy

The Social Media policy should describe, in clear language, the expectations of the employer and the limits the employer will  tolerate of the employee.

In addition, a general statement should be made in the policy, without being definitive, of actions that may be taken by the employer if these expectations are not met or the defined limits are exceeded. The purpose here would make the point that the policy is not a suggestion, but, may have related consequences. This part of the policy, especially, needs review and the assistance from legal consul.

A Social Media policy should address:

  • Compliance issues of the industry that the employer participates, if applicable
  • The activities encouraged by the employer in Social Media regarding interactions and engagement in the name of the company
  • The acceptable Social Channels and methods used for the activities that are encouraged of the employee by the employer for the benefit of the employer
  • The limits acceptable in personal use of Social Media where the employee references the employer or its activities.

Consequently, a Social Media policy is not able to be developed by any single department within the company. The Compliance Officer, executive management, and other parts of the organization must all be involved and expected to approve the final document.

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