Net2 Think Tank Round-up: Writing an effective social media policy

Claire Sale's picture

As social media becomes increasingly embraced by mainstream employers, how can you write a social media policy for your organization that both celebrates the positive side and addresses the negative side of social media?  The March Net2 Think Tank asked for examples of effective social media policies and this round-up has some great examples to get you started creating a social media policy in your organization!

Writing an Effective Social Media Policy Round-up:

Beth Kanter recently blogged about Policy Tool, a new tool that asks several questions about your organization, then creates a standardized social media policy based on your answers. The whole process takes about 5 minutes, but Beth warns:

You could do your organization a disservice if you think that the written policy that results from this tool is your final product.   And, also it doesn't give you the best practices and tactial tips. Creating a social media policy or any other organizational policy requires three steps:

  1. Establish the policy: Determine the policy and what you want to accomplish
  2. Educate: Important to train or make employees aware of the implications
  3. Enforce: Less about the top down control, but the fact that you need to consistently use the policy – shouldn’t sit in a drawer

Read the full post

To her own point, Beth also explains that there is much to learn from other organizations' social media policies, but that re-appropriating another organization's policy may actually be missing one very important aspect: Organizational Culture.

[...] If an organization simply cuts and pastes a social media policy without the internal culture change, it won't be effective.  There needs to be discussion.  Not only about the potential concerns and how to respond, but how the organization or its internal culture can embrace social media. Read the full post

Price Floyd from the Pentagon talked to NPR's Talk of the Nation to discuss how and why the Pentagon has recenlty changed their social media policy. He also shared that the policy is part of an overall culture shift that is being supported by internal training sessions:

One of the things we've done with this new social media policy is also start a concurrent training education process called NetSmart, which you can find it on a Web site, to educate people how to use Twitter and Facebook and other media sites responsibly. Listen to the piece

It is interesting to note how the conversation about social media policy is becoming much less about what needs to be included in the policy and much more about how to share the information appropriately so that every member of the organization can be both informed and empowered to converse online in an appropriate way.

Examples of social media policy

Here are a few social media policies that may be a good starting point to help you create a policy of your own:

Do you have an idea, lesson, or tip to share? Did you have a perfect blog post but forget to submit to this month's Net2 Think Tank? That's okay - just add your link or idea in the comments below!  And be sure to watch for next month's topic.

About Net2 Think Tank:

Net2 Think Tank is a monthly blogging event open to anyone and is a great way to participate in an exchange of ideas.  We post a question or topic to the NetSquared community and participants submit responses either on their own blogs or on the NetSquared Community Blog.  Tag your post with "net2thinktank" and email a link to us to be included. At the end of the month, the entries get pulled together in the Net2 Think Tank Round-Up.