<< by on September 22nd, 2011
An aspect of social media not to be forgotten in my Social Media Week series is transparency. I asked my Twitter followers for transparency best practices, got some awesome tips and added in my own, as well. Many thanks to @Marijean, @NikkiRogan and @ErinJones. Whether your company already has a social media policy or your policy hasn’t been reviewed since 2009, it never hurts to brush up on policy ideas.
1. Don’t report on or discuss matters that you’re not the “owner” of – basically, stick to your area of expertise. On this same note, don’t speak on behalf of the company (or behind a logo) when you’re just speaking your opinion.
2. Reveal where you work on your public social media profiles (like Twitter). It’s a standard practice to list your workplace within your Twitter bio if you tweet anything industry-related and/or link to your company’s website in your profile.
3. Online statements don’t die. Think twice before you share and always consider:
Would I be ok with this statement being published on the front page of the NYT with my name printed beside it?
Would I be embarassed to share this with my grandmother?
4. Search Mojo employees uses the #client hashtag on Twitter when/if we re-tweet or reference a client on Twitter. We also only tweet client tweets that would interest us anyway – not just because they’re a client.
5. When in doubt, use common sense. Is this public information? Would my CEO be ok with this if I shared the information?
Hopefully these tips and guidelines will help get you started.
There must be a backbone behind these transparency guidelines – and that would be your corporate social media policy. Companies should work with their legal departments and devise a smart, all-encompassing policy for each employee to sign. Whether companies ask all employees or just employees that represent the company in the online space to sign the policy is their decision. To me – it’s better to be safe than sorry. All social media policies are different and should be customized for your situation. Whether the policy is long or short, full or legal jargon or everyday language, you want employees to be able to remember the essential parts for easy reference.
Some great social media policy examples:
To keep following the main event at Social Media Week, check out the post Social Media Week Thursday – What’s On Today. (You’ll notice that they covered a topic about social media & employees – discussing social media policies and transparency online. Good topic if I do say so myself.)