Best Practices for Your Company's Social Media Policy

Last week, the Social Media Club of St. Louis held it's March monthly Meet-Up at Moulin. We featured a panel to discuss social media implications on privacy, security and other legal concerns. Our panel was Craig G Moore (@CraigGMoore), Pete Salsich (@PeteSalsich) and Anthony Martin (@AMPrivacy). The panel did a great job, and we hope to have a recap and some video from the event posted soon.

Corporate social media policies and agreements came up during the discussion several times throughout the discussion. When asked about key elements of an internal social media policy, the panel advised that it should be customized to the organization type, size, needs and goals.

Brian Solis, an author, principal at advisory firm Altimeter Group and a significant thought leader in social media, recently published an article on his blog titled "The Rules of Social Media Engagement." It's a post examining some of the risks involved when you play in this space as an organization, but it also includes an excellent list of some key considerations for your social media policy. I saw a lot in the list that my employer has considered in crafting the policy we present to all of our employees who blog or tweet on behalf of the company. I've quoted the first 15 from the list here, but I encourage you to visit Brian's full article for the full list and for more analysis.


The Top 25 Best Practices for Drafting Policies and Guidelines

1. Define a voice and persona representative of the brand’s purpose, mission, and characteristics

2. People expect to interact with people, be personable, consistent, and helpful

3. Keep things conversational as it applies to portraying and reinforcing the personality and value of your brand and the brand you represent

4. Add value to each engagement — contribute to the stature and legacy of the brand

5. Respect those whom you’re engaging and also respect the forum in which you participate

6. Ensure that you honor copyrights and practice and promote fair use of applicable content

7. Protect confidential and proprietary information

8. Business accounts are no place to share personal views unless they reinforce the brand values and are done according to the guidelines and code of conduct

9. Be transparent and be human yes, but also do so based on true value propositions and solutions

10. Represent what you should represent and do not overstep your bounds without prior approval

11. Know and operate within the boundaries defined, doing so protects you, the company, and the people with whom you’re hoping to connect

12. Know when to walk away. Don’t engage trolls or fall into conversational traps

13. Stay on message, on point and on track with the goals of your role and its impact to the real world business in which you contribute

14. Don’t trash competition, spotlight points of differentiation and value

15. Apologize where applicable and according to the established code of conduct. Seek approval by legal or management where such action is not pre-defined

More at Brian's Blog...