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Thinking About Social Media Policies for Employees

By May 30, 2012May 13th, 2019Digital Marketing, Uncategorized
When using various social media platforms, how often do you see, “The thoughts posted here are my own, and not those of my company” or something similar? Well, it’s simply not true.Reminds me of an old Bob Dylan song:

It ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe

I never want to be accused of being an attorney, because I’m not. But I’m sure there’s no legal protection in saying “these are my thoughts, not my company’s thoughts”. Of course, you wonder what they’re about to say that they wouldn’t want passed around the office on a memo.

It’s convenient to think that we can use social media to “speak our minds” separately from who we are in other enviroments, but it simple ain’t so. When I look at your social media profile, I see what company you work for. Or I just cruise over to LinkedIn and get that information. Or I use a tool like Nimble that tells all. (By the way, Nimble is an awesone tool, and subject of a future Toolkit post.)

The more things change, the more they stay the same

This isn’t really new news. When I was a scoutmaster, I couldn’t just go say what I thought. . . the boys would echo my thoughts to their parents (often with an additional creative twist). So I had to edit my speech.

When you go to church, do you talk out loud about things at work or people in the community? No, you “mind your manners” and edit your speech.

It’s not different in the social media arena. I tell each of our employees, “Don’t say anything on social media that you wouldn’t want your mom to see in the headline of tomorrow’s paper.”

So how does a small business create a social media policy for employees?

I think the only way to create an effective social media policy for a small business is to educate everyone about how to use social media appropriately.

We have a very simple social media policy that addresses each of five categories in a series of bullets. The categories are:

  • Our View of Social Media
  • Our Expectations
  • Be Respectful and Kind
  • Protect Your Identity
  • Protect Confidential & Proprietary Info

The policies are written in simple language, and is really based in our expectations of each of our staff members. I invite you to read our full Social Media Policy (it will only take about 60 seconds). Hopefully it will get you thinking about your own social media policy.

What are you doing with your social media policy that is different?  How do you educate your staff about appropriate use of social media? I’d love to hear from you.

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Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.