Clearly Defined: Guidelines to Set for Social Media Policies

I read an article last night about “Twidiots”, and of course I instantly assumed it was something Twilight (the book and movie franchise that has taken over Hollywood in the past few years) related, but I was wrong 🙂 The basic theme of the article was about controlling what your employees and other company related people do while using online media.

I hadn’t really thought much about the fact that employees or other company professionals could damage the image of the company through Twitter or the internet, but what Steven Silvers (the author) said made complete sense and made me realize what a detrimental thing it can be to your company if the Twitter is not being used by the right hands! A Burston-Marsteller survey shows that approximately 77% of Fortune 500 companies are now using Twitter to post messages about their companies. WOW! That is a pretty big number to ignore. In Steven’s article he points out how there are now websites and other Twitter feeds that look for Twitter mistakes so they can point them out and make fun of them. OUCH. He gives an example of a recent resignation of a journalist who blasted another fellow journalist for her having been sexually assaulted while on assignment. The backlash he received for his short post has now ended his career and tarnished the reputation of New York University.

So, that brings us to the “How do I fix this?” stage. I found some really great examples of companies that have very clear guidelines for employees, vendors, and affiliates behaviors while using social media. I have listed below five that may help you write your own guidelines.

1. The Coca Cola Company

http://www.viralblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/TCCC-Online-Social-Media-Principles-12-2009.pdf

2. Cisco

http://blogs.cisco.com/news/ciscos_internet_postings_policy/

3. Dell

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/policy/en/policy?c=us&l=en&s=corp&~section=019&redirect=1

4. Intel

http://www.intel.com/sites/sitewide/en_US/social-media.htm

5. University of Oregon

http://www.communications.uoregon.edu/socialmedia

I hope the above list will help you as you navigate refining or implementing your guidelines for media policies and practices.

As always, I welcome your comments or suggestions. Please feel free to mention insightful links or articles that you would like. Thank you!

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