Thursday, February 4, 2010

Social media policies: not developed, yet

Today, lots of people are tweeting that only 29% of businesses have social media policy, according to a report from employment services firm Manpower. Here are my thoughts on the report.

  • I am not surprised about the percentage. In fact, I think it is a little high.
  • Before companies should develop a social media policy, they should know what their goals are in using social media. How can a company create new policies using new media when the company does not understand the media and the implications using these new technologies.
  • Some companies are struggling with using social media because the use of social media conflicts with their existing policies (i.e. only the public relations department is the only ones who can make announcements and speak publically for the company). These companies should examine existing policies before considering new social media policies.
  • Companies should decide if a policy is needed.
  • Companies may want to look at how much faith they have in their own employees and consider the Five reasons they don’t need a policy.
  • From the same Michael Hyatt article, are there any companies brave enough to create their policy like this one? If so, those companies have complete faith in their employees to do the right thing. Of course, the smaller companies may be able to use this policy more so than larger companies.

“Use whatever social media you want. Feel free to use it on company time. Just use common sense and remember that if you publicly identify yourself with the company’s brand then act in a manner consistent with that brand. It’s in all of our best interests to do so.”

Now, is the time, though, to consider:

  • goals of using social media.
  • how social media fits and can be used to convey the company’s values.
  • how the company will use social media.
  • how social media fits into the company’s core businesses.
  • existing policies and practices that conflict with social media.
  • developing any new policies to address social media use. Tags: ,,

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