Posted by Scott Meis
There is a lot of buzz right now about social media policies. Does your company need one? Not need one? What factors need to be considered in creating a policy?
To start, I’d encourage you to not get hung up on this being just a “social media policy.” Chances are pretty good that your organization already has a host of existing employee policies that provide boundaries and regulate work activity. A social media policy can really be thought of within the larger context of being an overarching “online communications” policy.
If your company is debating putting a policy in place, check out this post from Sharlyn Lauby discussing why you’d want to have a social media policy in the first place. If you’re set on creating a policy but are unsure where to start, I’ve got good news. There’s no need to recreate the wheel. As with so many aspects of social media, collective efforts are helping establish best practices.
I highly recommend checking out the following links to help guide the creation of your own policy:
Blog Council – Disclosure Policy
The Blog Council has put together a nice set of guidelines on disclosure and best practices toolkit. These guidelines have been reviewed by numerous Fortune 500 legal departments and are intended for anyone to utilize for their own company.
Corporate Social Media Policy
Sally Falkow identifies links to a range of excellent policy examples.
Mayo Clinic Policy Example
One of my favorite policies. Incredibly well written and easy for any employee to understand.
Jaffe Associates Policy Template
A nice template provided by a D.C. based PR firm.
The Two-Line Social Media Policy
Does your company or organization currently have a social media policy in place or are you considering putting one in place?
Posted by Scott Meis
As a follow up to my previous post on the Chicago BlogWell conference, here’s a quick take on some additional learnings from presentations by Sharpie and Molson.
From an outside perspective, it doesn’t seem that there would be much of a role in utilizing social media to push a product such as Sharpie pens, right? Think again. Sharpie is armed with a super savvy, personable one-woman social media machine by the name of Susan Wassel that knows what it takes to get people talking.
Through the Sharpie blog, Susan is helping build conversation and community engagement around their brand by inspiring creativity and calling attention to those that are passionate about how they use their Sharpies. Total cost of this priceless communication tool? $2,000. Pretty good deal.
Susan also serves as the voice behind Sharpie over on Twitter and has the brand active over on Facebook (343,000 fans and 1,388 wall posts, wow, that’s impressive), Flickr and YouTube. Here’s an excellent short clip to demonstrate how they’re working to encourage and charge up their “creator” base.
First off, you have to respect anyone that gets up at a conference and makes a presentation while tipping back a cold one. Adam Moffat, Molson’s Manager of Brand Marketing and PR started off his presentation by noting that it only made sense for Molson to get involved with social media given the “social nature” of their product.
For the Molson social media team, it’s all about facilitating conversation and getting consumers to talk to one another about their love of Molson (note how they uniquely bridge the gap between personal and brand presence on Twitter – @MolsonMoffat, @MolsonFerg, @MolsonBryan, @toniahammer). How are they doing it? Aside from having a presence on the usual sites, Molson is a doing a great job focusing their blog not on their product, but rather on the role their company plays in helping the community. It’s a great way to say, “yes we sell a product, but look at how our employees and brand have a larger involvement and investment within the community.”
In addition, they’ve hosted blogger meet-ups in the past to foster one-to-one consumer relationships. Adam even recalled a scenario where a small group of consumers put out a call for a specific batch of flavored Molson and they responded by inviting the group to the brewery and treating them to their own special batch. That’s response.
Like many brands, it looks like Molson also had to learn a social media lesson along the way to get to where they’re at today. I anticipate Molson will continue to try new ideas and avenues of outreach to help blaze the already strong social media trail they’ve created.
The Blog Council has been kind enough to pull together this disclosure document to help guide best practices for companies, agencies and bloggers. Even if your company already has a disclosure document in place, I highly recommend you take a glance at the six fantastic one-page checklists they’ve pulled together. Mind you, these documents have been reviewed and approved by 24 different Blog Council members and their legal departments, representing some of the biggest brands out there.
You can’t pass up that kind of free info, especially on such a fundamental topic.
Thanks for the great conference BlogWell!