A social media policy is an official code of conduct that provides guidelines for individuals who post content on the Internet. In corporate settings, companies set expectations to align their employees' social media interactions with the organization's goals and intended public image. The aim of a good social media policy? To avoid embarrassment or legal problems that could harm the company's mission or brand.
Some social media policies are extensive, including specific restrictions on content sharing and instructions on when it's appropriate for employees to identify themselves as representatives of the company. Other social media policies keep it simple, asking users to exercise their best judgment and offering little more guidance.
What kind of social media policy is right for your organization? Here, SearchCIO.com has compiled some free social media policy template examples, news and guidelines from around the Web to help CIOs and their staff develop policies that align with organizational goals, promote the company's brand and ward off security threats.
SOURCE: Eastman Kodak Co.
OFFERING: Kodak's glossy guide to enterprise social media is an engaging read. It surveys the social media landscape, dispels social media myths, offers 10 tips from the company's chief blogger and finally shares its own social media policy as an example, which covers transparency, confidentiality and factuality in social media postings.
SOURCE: U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
OFFERING: This extensive social media policy report stems from social media cases the NLRB reviewed. The "Operations Management Memo" download covers 14 cases, several of which specifically deal with employer social media policies that were found to be "unlawfully broad," including some that revolve around employee postings on Facebook.
SOURCE: Richard Dennison for British Telecom
OFFERING: Dennison, who manages BT's intranet, Internet strategy and social media for communications, shares the company's extensive social media policy, which can serve as a template for your own. The template offers employee guidelines for proper use of social media, advice for identifying suitable content and even a glossary of relevant social media terms.
SOURCE: Jaffe PR
OFFERING: A public relations firm specializing in law firms and legal associations offers up its own updated set of online policies and procedures for perusal. These social media policies can serve as template for your organization, and covers such areas as creating an online identity, creating and managing content, leaving comments, building a virtual footprint and, of course, potential conflicts and red flags.
SOURCE: Social Commerce Today
OFFERING: This online journal shares the social media policy template and employee guidelines of a since-acquired information management firm. The policies emphasize prudence and common sense when engaging in social media, and the creation of specific policies relating to blog disclaimers, copyrights and fact checking. It also notes the importance of a social media personality and "voice."
SOURCE: Social Fresh
OFFERING: This social media education company offers up a straightforward social media policy template that should be molded to fit individual organizations. It includes five principles to keep in mind when launching a social media program, including the purposes for engagement, expectations for employees' online conduct and the importance of protecting confidential and proprietary information in a corporate setting.
SOURCE: Shift Communications
OFFERING: Another public relations agency entry, these Top 10 Guidelines for Social Media Participation offer a short, direct approach to social media policy. The template's guidelines underscore the importance of being transparent and sticking to one's areas of expertise, as well how to respectfully handle social media-based disagreements and writing about the competition.
Let us know what social media policy template works for you; email firstname.lastname@example.org.