Human Resources

Social Media Policies: 14 Key Guidelines

Make social media policies a subset of your overall business strategy.

September 07, 2010
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11. Language and behavior

The goal of social media is to be “family friendly” so communication can flow freely. Inform participants that if a conversation takes a step or two downward, the administrator will delete offending words. Also, communicate that people who run on without saying much, or who add unnecessary links will also be edited or deleted.

12. Spam

One petty annoyance of the computer age is spam. Make sure your policy informs users that comments focused on selling a product or service, or comments posted for a purpose of driving traffic to a particular website for personal, political, or monetary gain, will be excluded.

13. Security

Some people avoid participating in social media because they fear their data will be compromised. This is a legitimate concern as hackers continue to find ways to place malicious links in social networking sites and tweets, even those from sources thought to be secure. Attackers can use the sites to mine employee and confidential information. Employees might also unintentionally publish information about products and services that may fail to be compliant with laws and regulations. Consider creating a virtual, fictional individual to serve as the organization’s spokesperson, so real names aren’t used. This also helps eliminate the potential of attackers mining employee information.

14. Social media issues and response

All organizations should designate a person or a team to deal with social media issues, and responses to issues concerning the credit union. Again, this might be a virtual, fictional individual for security reasons.

“Social media is slowly altering the workplace in ways that are being viewed as both beneficial and detrimental within the financial services industry,” notes the council whitepaper. “Policies and guidelines are useful because they give answers to recurring questions as well as guidance to a new environment that continues to evolve and is sometimes confusing to employees and management. Neglecting to write policies and leaving it to common sense is no longer an option.”

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