Writing a social media policy

Social Media Policy

A social media policy can be a company’s first line of defense to mitigate risk for both employer and employee.  You may already have a confidentiality agreement but it might not be enough. Adding a few lines in the employee handbook to clarify that the confidentiality agreement covers employee interactions on social media sites might suffice.  But it is advised to create a separate social media policy to have something specific on file and accessible to employees and that they are aware of the policies existence.

Here is a list of some social media policies Falls suggests companies should consider creating:

  • Employee Code of Conduct for Online Communications
  • Employee Code of Conduct for Company Representation in Online Communications
  • Employee Blogging Disclosure Policy
  • Employee Facebook Usage Policy
  • Employee Personal Blog Policy
  • Employee Personal Social Network Policy
  • Employee Personal Twitter Policy
  • Employee LinkedIn Policy
  • Corporate Blogging Policy
  • Corporate Blog Use Policy
  • Corporate Blog Post Approval Process
  • Corporate Blog Commenting Policy
  • Corporate Facebook Brand Page Usage Policy
  • Corporate Facebook Public Comment/Messaging Policy
  • Corporate Twitter Account Policy
  • Corporate YouTube Policy
  • Corporate YouTube Public Comment Policy
  • Company Password Policy

There are two approaches to creating a social media policy.  You can write one complete social media policy that addresses all currently available social mediums.  Or you can write polices as you need them.  For example, if your company doesn’t have a social media presence on YouTube you may not need to address YouTube and video usage.  But as your business expands you add a YouTube policy later.

Social media may be a huge opportunity for your employees to help build your company’s brand, but let’s not forget that there also exists a tremendous risk for individual employees to inadvertently damage the company’s brand and by defining a set of guidelines you help mitigate that risk