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Social Media Policy


Many companies these-days need to develop a Social Media Policy to ensure employee behaviour on Social Networks is responsible and acceptable by company standards.

This is especially important for Government Departments, Not For Profits and Organisations whom provide a service for the general public on a large scale.

Developing a Social Media Policy can become tricky as many social networking sites are used like Facebook, Twitter, possibly Geo-location applications like Foursquare and Blogging platforms like WordPress or Blogger.

Generally it will come down to the HR Department to consult with Management and decide on a fair and useable policy for social media engagement. I have been looking around at the sort of policies being used and wanted to write a post on this as it seems many organisations are still slow in putting something in writing.

Examples to consider when writing your Social Media Policy

1. Firstly you need to define the use of Social Media in your organisation. Why exactly do employees need to use this medium and what should they be doing?

2. Employees need to understand they are personally responsible for what they write on Social Networks. On work time they are representing the company and have to act in a professional manner as they would through emails or on the telephone.

3. Employees should identify themselves where possible so the general public understands a human is talking to them, not an ‘organisational robot’.

4. Confidential information must be adhered to – both company information and that of your customers.

5. Respect your competition. Bagging out your competitors on a Social Networking website will do your company more harm then theirs.

6. Offer value to your followers on Social Networks – either by customer service, discounted products and services, or being an information source.

7. Geolocation applications like Foursquare and Gowalla should probably not be used on company time. If you see clients and ‘check-in’ when at their office this does publicly display your location – possibly to your competitors. There are times when Geolocation use is and isn’t appropriate in the work environment.

One of the challenges many companies face once a Social Media Policy is implemented, is then monitoring that policy. You may also see a ‘clash’ between Marketing and Legal departments in larger companies as to the best way Social Networks can be utilised by employees.

If anyone has any thoughts on this or particular area of a Social Media Policy you find important, please do let us know.


David Cowling : Editor and Founder of SocialMediaNews.com.au. I also run a Social Media Agency where I do consulting work and another blog dedicated to Instagram news. Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google + or contact me here. Alternatively, you can send me an email at david@socialmedianews.com.au

  • I once worked in a company that had let their Facebook profile fall by the wayside. I could see the potential in its use, so I outlined a strategy and got clearance to take over its management. I found that many users weren't clear on how to talk to a business, and even posted some very personal information on our wall (we dealt with very personal issues). It lead me to redesign the way we communicated – most importantly, ensuring our clients had a clear view of how and what could be dealt with via facebook and what had to be dealt with in person/on the phone.











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