Does Your Company Need A Social Media Policy?

Yes! Social Media Thumbnail

When blogging first became mainstream, I remember seeing major companies such as IBM release employee blogging guidelines. With good reason, IBM wanted to ensure that their employees weren't bashing, slamming, or misguiding readers on their blogs. Despite making a great business move, many major companies never followed IBMs blogging guidelines. And with only a small percentage of a company's employee's blogging, there are obvious reasons why.
I often debated, was it important to establish guidelines? Now I think, sure.
Was it crucial? No, probably not.
Now times have changed.
Your company may not have someone who blogs, but you can count on having socially networked employees. Between Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter, a company is bound to have internet sociable workers. With all these forms of media, can your company really afford not to implement a social media policy?
Absolutely not.
Heres why; you may have an employee who films himself eating strange things at work or posting grotesque videos to youtube, and it will reflect poorly on your company. Or worse, your employee can violate company policies on anti-harassment, ethics or company loyalty on a social network site. Both companies and employees need to understand that what you publish on social media sites will remain there forever. And with the amount of information that can change hands effortlessly and almost instantly on social network sites, the last thing you need as an employer is more headache.

That's what makes social media policies so crucial and popular. Everyone from the Air force to Harvard has them in place, and while your company may not be considered "cutting edge" its not too late to hop on board. In fact, Twitter is growing at a rate of 1,382%, and it is just one of the many emerging social networking sites.

There are plenty of resources available to get you started on a social media policy. The Internet is constantly evolving, and as it grows your company must grow with it. The utilization of social media can do wonders for a company, but as with most things, it's a double edged sword. Make sure the proper policy is in place so that you can profit from social media rather than be punished from it.

Comments

Another good reason to have a social media policy: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/06/facebooksword/

Nice article and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I firmly believe that every organization big or small should have a social media policy. Recently I completed an analysis on usage of social media and its impact on productivity and have published my findings here http://www.gigathoughts.com/social-media/do-you-have-a-social-media-poli...

Hope you guys find it useful and also do let me know your views on the same

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