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The importance of social media policy

Why should companies implement their own social media policy? What good would it bring if employees’ online posts are regulated?
By International Institute of Digital Marketing |
The importance of social media policy

“A social media policy is generally a written policy that an employer implements to address its employees’ use of social networking websites,” writes Fenton and Keller, a U.S.-based consultation firm.

“The policies regulate the content that employees are allowed to post on such sites, particularly with regard to comments about the employer’s workplace and other employees,” it adds.

Unfortunately, amidst 400 million active users in Facebook and another 40 million in professional networking site LinkedIn, Fenton and Keller reports that less than 30% of U.S. employers have a social media policy.

“Most employers’ social media policies are intended to address the unfortunate situation in which an employee has posted inappropriate content online,” says Fenton and Keller. “This could include anything from racy pictures of the employee, to criticisms of the individual’s coworkers or supervisors, to content that may actually be illegal.”

Admirably, Intel, a leading tech company, simplifies its social media policy for Intel employee or contractor creating or contributing to blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds, or any other kind of social media with three rules of engagement.

These are the following:

1. Disclose
Your honesty—or dishonesty—will be quickly noticed in the social media environment. Please represent Intel ethically and with integrity.

2. Protect
Make sure all that transparency doesn’t violate Intel’s confidentiality or legal guidelines for commercial speech—or your own privacy. Remember, if you’re online, you’re on the record—everything on the Internet is public and searchable. And what you write is ultimately your responsibility.

3. Use Common Sense
Perception is reality and in online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. Just by identifying yourself as an Intel employee, you are creating perceptions about your expertise and about Intel. Do us all proud.

“Each social media platform of an organization may need its own unique social media policy,” reminds Jason Cruz, social products director for MRM/McCann, during the recent lecture on Social Media 102 of the Certified Digital Marketer (CDM) Program

“As platforms differ in systems, usage and content, each platform’s policy must be tailored to its capabilities.”

To learn more about creating and executing social media policies, join the Social Media Marketing Specialist Track of the Certified Digital Marketer (CDM) Program. Visit imadigitalmarketer.com or call 927-0096, 0928-506-5382 for more details.

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