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What Should Go Into a Social Media Policy?

What Should Go Into a Social Media Policy?

Sharlyn Lauby, SPHR, CPLP, and President at ITM Group, shares 10 things to include in every social media policy.

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You are probably already aware that if your company is using social media, you should have a social media policy in place. Lawful social media policies stand up to scrutiny from the NLRB and can keep you out of trouble.

However, in order to create such a policy, what should be included in it?

Is your company's social media policy up-to-date?

The policy should cover all possible scenarios and contain examples of what is and isn’t appropriate online communication. Use this free checklist to ensure your policy covers all the areas necessary to protect your company.

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What to Include in a Social Media Policy

A social media policy should serve as a guide for employee social media activity – not just a list of don’ts. Sharlyn Lauby, SPHR, CPLP, President of ITM Group and blogger at HR Bartender. During the webinar, Lauby recommends you think about when putting together your social media policy.

Here's a look at a few of the items on Lauby's must-have list:

1. Tell people the purpose

Why is your company using social media? When employees understand why social media is being used in or by the company, they are better equipped to help with the company’s social media agenda.

2. Agree upon ownership

Who owns your social media account(s)? Do social media connections belong to the employee who has been interacting with them or do they belong to the company?

You’ll also want to address naming conventions for social media accounts. For example, do you want your employees to have the company name included in the Twitter handles?

RELATED: Defining the Social Media Presence Within Your Corporate Social Media Policy

3. Be authentic

Be human. If you have a team of people working on your company’s social media accounts, how do you want them to identify themselves? Employees need to understand that they have to take responsibility for what they say on social media.

4. Exercise good judgement

People have different opinions. It’s how companies manage their presence on social media that makes a difference. How are you going to train employees and sensitize them to these different opinions? There’s a fine line between witty commentary and offending someone, and your employees need to know where that line is.

RELATED: 16 Tips for Managing Social Media in the Workplace to Avoid Scandals

5. Mobile is not social

Mobile and social are two different things. As “bring your own device” continues to be a growing trend, you need to make sure that your policy supports employee equipment use.

Who maintains it?  What happens when devices are lost or stolen? Can employees login to the company website from anywhere? You need to think about mobile when developing your social media policy, especially if you expect employees to login to social media accounts on laptops, smart phones and tablets.

To find out what the other 5 social media policy must-haves are, check out the full recording of the webinar, which you can access for free here.