Social Media Policy: Employee vs. Public

Going through my RSS feeds, I came across Dave Fleet’s article on the 57 Social Media Policy Examples and Resources in SocialMediaToday.  A very useful article with excellent examples!  There are so many best practices for us to review.  So, as you are scouring policies, you may want to consider separating your resources into a couple of different buckets: the employee and the public bucket.

Simply stated, what you request of your employees may look similar, in some respects, to a public facing social media policy, however, it will also be very specific to your organization.  For example, you may want to consider the following information for the employee bucket.

Employee Bucket:

  • Employee Access to Social Media:  Are any social networks “off limits” to employees or will they have open access to all social sites? Is there a formal process when a department or employee needs to have full access to a social media site?
  • Employee Conduct: How do you want employees to use and collaborate on social media? This is where you may see “The Rules of Engagement” and the three “Rs” which stand for Representation, Responsibility and Respect. Is an employee’s participation strictly for work and how should they represent their personal views?  Is an employee able to check their personal Facebook page or Twitter conversations during the course of the workday?
  • Content Use: What kind of content can and should be shared?  Will you provide any guidelines regarding how content is published, whether internally or externally with the public?
  • Legal information:  Do you inform employees regarding privacy, defamation, intellectual property, etc? How do you educate employees on these laws and regulations without going too deeply into the details of each?  Will you require employees to use disclaimers for personal use of social media?
  • Social Media Profile Management:  Who is the gatekeeper per department or for smaller organizations, the gatekeeper for the entire company?  Should an employee leave your company, who will have the information regarding the profiles set up by that person, including which social networks, user names and passwords? Who will go in and change the user name passwords when an employee leaves the company?
  • Additional Policy Information: Is your social media policy is tied to a Code of Ethics or an employee communications handbook? If so, you must include references to additional resources for employees to review.

The Public Bucket:

  • Participation Guidelines: Will you offer information about social media and how will you encourage public participation?
  • Blogging and Comment Policies:  What do you want your public stakeholders to know about how you moderate your blogs?  What should they understand regarding the manner in which comments appear or maybe don’t appear?
  • Legal Language: Will you have a passage that says the information posted on blogs and social networks is the copyright property of your organization for further use?  How will you address any behavior that is considered inappropriate social media conduct?  Should you discuss privacy, confidentiality and security?

You will definitely see areas of similarity between the information that you want to share with employees and the public regarding social media.  And, in some cases, maybe one policy does fit all.  But, you may also want to consider the differences between the internal/employee social media policy and your public policy, which highlights the way you want customers and other stakeholders to engage with you.  There are many considerations, far beyond what’s above.  This is just a starting point so that you are able to dig in deeper.

How is your social media policy development going and are you developing one policy for all groups or using the bucket approach?

4 Responses to " Social Media Policy: Employee vs. Public "

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by dbreakenridge, Tim van Letht, Rick Oppenheim, Marco Hendrikse, Lorelie Johnson and others. Lorelie Johnson said: Saw Dave's post too. Good stuff! RT @dbreakenridge Social Media Policy: Employee vs. Public […]

  2. Superb information. I’ve been trying to get my clients to codify their policies on social media and this is very helpful.

  3. […] Social Media Policy: Employee vs. Public ( […]

  4. Deirdre says:

    Thanks Andrea! I’m happy that you find the information on social media policies to be helpful.

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