10 Tips for Creating a Social Media Policy for Your Business

Original post by  via socialmediaexaminer

Policy. It can be a dirty word, especially in social media communities.

Why? Poorly written social media policies restrict, deter and deaden social media engagement–the exact opposite of what businesses want.

However, great social media policies support, protect and empower high-quality engagement. It is about empowerment and trust.

As Beth Kanter writes, “Trust is cheaper than control.”

This article will explain how social media policies differ from other policies and give you10 tips to help create an effective social media policy.

Why Social Media Policies?

Social media policies are different. In most policies and procedures, we document what staff should do in certain situations: “If this happens, do that.” For social media, there is no way to know exactly what situations may arise – or in many cases – how staff should best handle them. Each social media network and each relationship is unique and the social media environment changes daily.

The risks are uncertain. The courts are in the process of interpreting laws in regards to social media. Until that interpretation process is mature – and this will takeyears – organizations operate without definitive guidance. Issues that may arise include: employee and/or client confidentiality, labor relations issues, brand jacking, miscommunication, spamming, etc.

Given an uncertain environment and unclear risks, how do we move forward?

There are hundreds of sample social media policies on the Internet. If you are looking for a starting point, you will surely find ideas here and here.

However, in order to create policies that work – really work – we must first lay the groundwork.