Sunday, May 20, 2012

Social Media and Communication, Part 1: Creating a Policy

When something new happens to you two times in the same week, you take notice; when it happens three times, as it had to me last week, you think you're experiencing a trend. Within days of each other, three of my clients talked to me about their new social media policy to regulate staff usage of social media platforms not only at work but after hours as well if staff choose to identify themselves as employees of the company. 

Two points make this phenomenon important:

  • The three clients are in entirely different industries (education, investment banking, and transportation). Anecdotal as this data may seem, I take it to mean that the concern is pervasive.
  • All three have an email policy, as do most organizations, but felt compelled to create a social media policy because message boards, blogs, and other community e-communication tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are far different from email.
Companies will have a hard time completely forbidding the use social media because they themselves are deeply invested in a social media presence of their own, and they will likely encourage their staff to contribute to these platforms. 

Over the next three posts of Words on the Line, I will share best practices for those who are creating a social media policy of their own or modifying the one they already have.