Blog

by Josh Druck
on August 24, 2010

Is it time to have a social media policy?

We recently read about possible legal trouble when a teacher posted private information about a student on a TV station’s Facebook page. You can watch a video news account of the story here.

Some of the interesting characteristics of this case are:

And yet the school, the teacher, and even the student, might be in hot water. It is a very real example of why every organization needs a social media policy — even when employees are not formally engaged on the social web!

If you don’t have a social media policy, it’s probably time to mitigate risk for you and your employees by creating one. When we work with our clients on social media policies, we walk them through a custom process that includes:

Defining expectations
  • How much company time should be spent on the social web?
  • Associated security issues
  • Expected level of participation
  • Appropriate representation of the company or organization
  • Consequences of abuse
Implications of being a publisher
  • Legal
  • Ethical
  • Proprietary
  • Technical and security
  • Brand issues
  • Internal protocol if problem arises?

And of course there are many considerations specific to a company and industry such as the social media link to business strategy, competitive concerns and regulations. After a policy has been created and approved, it is a best practice to train employees on the policy.

It’s not

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necessarily an easy task, which is why many of our clients are turning to us for advice. It’s important to protect both employees and employers by having a robust and practical social media policy. If you don’t have one, it probably should be a priority to establish a policy soon.

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