15 October 2012

5 Key Points for a Social Media Policy Working Party

(These are with regard to employees’ use of Web 2.0 tools and spaces for work and personal use while using an organisations’ computers/network and time.)

Positive focus
Focus on "trust" (Society for New Communications Research, para. 2), "transparency" (Society for New Communications Research, para. 2), "authenticity" (Lauby, 2009a, para. 8.), and on what employees “can rather than can’t do" (Lauby, 2009a, para. 5).

Quality of content
Accuracy of information is essential but also be aware that you will make mistakes - acknowledge them and deal with them promptly (Society for New Communications Research, para. 2; Kroski, 2009, para. 20; Fleet, 2009, slide 14.) Also timeliness and regularity of updates make social media postings more effective (Anderson, 2009, para. 12).  In addition, when using social media it must also be accessible for those with a disability (Arendt, A.M., 2009, p. 16), e.g. images, video, specific browser adaptabilities, text to audio, etc. 

General employee behaviour policies relate to social media also, whether internal of external (Kroski, 2009, para. 17; Fleet, 2009, slide 9) -  your organisation’s social media policy needs to cover everyone, not just ‘official’ activity (Lauby, 2009b, para. 10). “Accountability and administrative control” (Arendt, A.M., 2009, p. 44) means deciding who will moderate and be responsible for content and responses.  Have clear guidelines on how you will deal with online comments and criticism, and also with unwanted activity such as spam, defamation, aggression etc. (Fleet, 2009, slide 14).

Rights and regulations around public content
Understand and apply copyright, fair use laws and Creative Commons attributions (Arendt, A. M., 2009, p. 8, 31; Lauby, 2009a, para. 21), as well as privacy and confidentiality (Society for New Communications Research, para. 2), Intellectual Property with regard to images, music, video and sources, and also disclosure of affiliations (Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Europe, 2009, p. 5), and what constitutes proprietary information (Lauby, 2009a, para. 22)

Consider the future 
Base policy on existing policies and build on them with new media developments in mind (Society for New Communications Research, para. 2). Consider the future “performance”, “reliability” and “longevity” of the social software systems when selecting media for projects (Arendt, A.M., 2009, p. 44).  A social media policy needs to be a “living document” (Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Europe, 2009, p. 12), for example, posted on a wiki (Kroski, 2009, para. 9) so that it can be updated as new media emerge.

Anderson, J. (2009). Social media policies & museums, Indianapolis Museum of Art blog (8 April). Retrieved from http://www.imamuseum.org/blog/2009/04/08/social-media-policies-museums/
Arendt, A.M. (2009). Social Media Tools and the Policies Associated with Them.  Best Practices in Policy Management Conference. Utah Valley University, November. Retrieved from http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=anne_arendt
Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Europe. (2009). CIPR Social Media Guidelines (January). Retrieved from  http://www.cipr.co.uk/sites/default/files/Social%20Media%20Guidelines.pdf
Fleet, D. (2009). Social Media Policies E-book (2009). Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/davefleet/social-media-policies-ebook
Lauby, S. (2009a) 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy, Mashable, 6 February [blog] Retrieved from  http://mashable.com/2009/06/02/social-media-policy-musts/
Lauby, S. (2009b) Should Your Company Have a Social Media Policy? Mashable, 27 April [blog] Retrieved from  http://mashable.com/2009/04/27/social-media-policy/
Society for New Communications Research. (n.d.) Best practices for developing a social media policy. Retreived from  http://www.socialmedia.biz/social-media-policies/best-practices-for-developing-a-social-media-policy/

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