300 social media policies

end-logo
Socialmedia_RachelMiller

300 social media policies

Where do you start when it comes to creating social media guidelines for your organisation? Do you have a policy in place already but feel like it needs to be more robust? Feel like it’s too long/short and would like to see what others do? You’re in the right place.

Every week I am contacted by internal communication (IC) professionals who are looking for guidance or top tips to help them think through their social media policy. This topic came up again at the Sequel Group event in London I spoke at a couple days ago, and based on feedback from the IC pros there and from regular readers, I thought I’d write a specific article on the topic and share hundreds of policies with you.

Language choice
Think through whether you want to have a social media policy or social media guidelines/guidance. Language choice is essential in internal communication and how you refer to your ‘rules’ is important as it sets the tone for them. Policy could imply threat, whereas guidelines opportunity. See the difference one word makes? Set out your stall from the very beginning.

As with any other comms collateral, the culture of your organisation has a huge role to play in what you produce and its format. How do you normally communicate expectations – do you have a ‘tell and sell’ mentality or it is open, two-way and transparent?

Word cloudThere are lots of tools and resources available online. It’s useful to see what your competitors are doing when it comes to their policies and to gauge how your guidelines compare to others. I’ve had links to policies on my resources page for a while now, so thought I’d highlight them and include lots more.

What’s missing?
It takes time to scour the web and pull together a list, but I’ve done the hard work for you – see below for a detailed list of policies. The ‘usual suspects’ are there, but I’ve also sought out ones from a variety of industries and countries and included links at the foot of this page to video examples.

Found a good/bad example you think other IC pros would be interested in seeing? Do comment below or tweet me @AllthingsIC. Want me to work alongside you to help create yours? Do get in touch.

How long should a social media policy be?
What format should a social media policy take?
Who should you involve when creating social media guidance?

All of these questions regularly lead people to my blog and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach because it depends on your organisation and how far into your social media journey you are. Therefore, I’m going to share some thoughts for you to think through:

Working group
If you don’t have rules in place and are looking to create them, think about establishing a working group to do so. This should be made up of people from across the organisation – not just Comms and IT. Does your policy need to include contractors, shareholders and other stakeholders? Ensure they are involved too.

Gather your allies and think through how detailed the guidelines need to be, what is the output going to be of your efforts – a document or a video for example, or perhaps both?

‘Unconnected’ employees
Does your guidance have information about social media use not only inside your organisation but outside, for example if you have ‘unconnected’ employees, who declare they work for you via LinkedIn or their personal Facebook pages, are they aware of and covered by it?

Communicate it!

A critical stage, which often appears to be missed, is actually communicating the fact social media guidance exists in your organisation! It’s all very well having the slickest policy around, however, if it’s not communicated it’s not worth the paper it’s written on. So when you’re planning your social media guidance, create a timeline and comms plan around it. I’m happy to write more on this in future, do let me know if you want to read more on this topic.

Updating
Update it regularly. Social media moves at pace, so ensure you have a review in place to check what you’re advising is consistent with the ‘social media landscape.’ I recommend at least an annual review – and of course, don’t forget to communicate the fact it has changed or been refreshed.

Involve employees in this process and ask for their feedback and input into the revised guide. You’ll see from the list below that many of them have revision dates. I’d go a step further and say put date of last revision and date of next revision – clearly communicate with your employees and manage expectations.

Induction
Don’t forget to include the policy in your induction. Equip your employees for success by clearly outlining what the company expects and what they can expect, from day one and even during the interview process.

For example, because I blog and enjoy doing so, I have asked questions about potential restrictions during job interviews in recent years. Part of the conversation and recruitment process for me has been to understand from organisations what their social media policies are and whether they would affect my ability to write.

If there have been such rules, I have worked with them to enable me to continue blogging. Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted for example, that in my last in-house internal communication role, I didn’t refer to the company by name in my biog or anywhere online, such as LinkedIn, the whole time I worked there.

That was because I wasn’t acting as a spokesperson for the organisation, but continuing to blog as an IC pro. Due to being a heavily-regulated industry (pharmaceutical), and rightly so, there were certain restrictions for me to comply with – I never wrote about what I was working on for example. Only now I have left is the company on my LinkedIn profile and blog.

I’ve included this personal example as a way to say there will always be circumstances that your policy may not cover. Having an open approach and committing to update your guidelines regularly is essential in order to ensure both the company and employees are getting what they need from it and you take into account scenarios as they arise.

What does your social media policy look like? Worked on something you’re proud of and want to share it with other IC pros? Check out my guest article guidelines and do get in touch, you can tweet me @AllthingsIC or comment below if you’d like to see your name here.

So, as promised. Here are lots of examples of social media policies and guidelines – fill your boots as they say – and do let me know any others you think should be included. Enjoy! Rachel

Further reading:
I have written an article for Neal Schaffer’s blog on social media policies and litigation, which is being published in the next few weeks, so do look out for that.

Hundreds of social media policy examples

244 social media policies – a comprehensive list
30 social media policies from the UK and Europe
Examples of 40 staff guidelines – by Laurel Papworth (2009)

Here are some more I’ve found online:

Adidas Group
acas
BBC News
BT (British Telecom)
British Psychological Society
Canadian Tourism
Cisco
Civil Service
Coca-Cola Company
Cornwall Council
Department of Justice
Devon County Council
E.On
Edinburgh Council
Exeter University
Ford
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
General Medical Council
Harvard University
IBM
Intel
Johnson & Johnson
Kirklees Council
Kodak
London School of Economics
Malvern Hill District Council
Metropolitan Police
Ministry of Defence
MITIE
Monmouthshire County Council
Monster
New York Times
The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Norfolk Police
Oxford University Press
Parliament
Procter & Gamble
Roche
Royal Mail
Salesforce.com
Southwest airlines
Telligent
Tesco
Thetrainline.com
Thomson Reuters
TNT
Twitter template for Gov departments
Unity Trust
UK Armed Forces
US Army
Vodafone
Walmart
Warwickshire County Council
Woodfield Community School
York University

Guidance and other resources

101 social media marketing resources via Heidi Cohen
Social Media Friendly Mark
Increasing staff engagement with social media
Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ social media best practice guide
Guide to using Twitter for comms pros
Charity Comms guide to using social media
Twitter directory

Some organisations publish their guidance as videos, such as the Football Association (FA). Some examples are below from Boehringer Ingelheim in the US, KPMG, the Department of Justice, Sage and lots more. You can see them below or via my YouTube playlist. Enjoy! Rachel

UPS:

Boehringer Ingelheim:

KPMG:

Department of Justice:

Sage:

Quay Creative:

Australian Air Force Cadets:

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry:

Grant Thornton:

Treasury Wine Estates:

Citrix:

Amcol:

Dartmouth-Hitchcock:

Zurich:

Meltwater:

Sodexo:

Eurotours (in German):

City of Salisbury:

Infineon Technologies:

PwC Malaysia:

Department of Human Services:

Lancaster Schools:

St Luke’s Hospital:

Sutter Health:

Ramsey Health:

EMC:

Post author: Rachel Miller @AllthingsIC

Share Button

RELATED POSTS

The Little Book of Inspiration-image

The Little Book of Inspiration

In an age where knowledge is more accessible than ever, how do we create engaged workplace learners that are inspired to go out and discover the answers themselves? Reed and Learni...

Read moreRead more
Social Shorts hit the comms catwalk-image

Social Shorts hit the comms catwalk

Social media doesn’t stop for the seasons. It’s on 24/7 and evolving around the clock. With that in mind a brand new series of events have been revealed by the Social M...

Read moreRead more
Is Microsoft serious about going social with Yammer?-image

Is Microsoft serious about going social with Yammer?

Every week I’m contacted by professional communicators who are looking into using enterprise social networks in their organisation. Many are just starting out on their journe...

Read moreRead more

3  responses on 300 social media policies

Pingback: Fluffy Links – Wednesday May 8th 2013 « Damien Mulley

Pingback: Is Your Company Social Media Friendly?

Pingback: Fluffy Links – Friday May 24th 2013 « Damien Mulley

Leave a comment







*


Post commentPost comment

Want to make sure you never miss a post? Just subscribe to my blog using your email address.

Join 302 other subscribers

Rachel has been featured in:
Awards
Explore via category
Recent posts
April 2014
MTWTFSS
« Mar  
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930