Ready to adopt a social media policy for your organization staff? Awesome. You probably have some ideas about the risks you want to avoid and how you'd like your staff to interact on the interwebs. Easy peasy, right?
Until you end up staring at a blank page.
It's easy to get caught up in all the different audiences and guidelines you want to include. Here are a few tips to get you past the writer's block and get something down on paper.
- Pick one audience. Start with writing a policy for your employees. It may help to focus on a single employee, perhaps the one most involved with social media. Don't worry about expanding or altering the policy for different audiences such as board members, key volunteers, or chapters until you have a good basic policy written.
- Refer to other organizational policies in your social media policy. Don't crowd the social media policy with too much information. Stay focused on the social media things.
- Forget about the tools. You could create separate policies unique to every tool (blogs, microblogs, networking sites, media sharing, etc.) but it would take too long and need updating every third day as the tools change. Instead, focus on the universal truths about online behavior.
- Write more DO's than DON'Ts. Empower your audience with what they can do, not what they can't do. Simple stuff like: DO be honest. DO use appropriate privacy settings. DO share content that is publicly available.
- Copy from folks who are making it work. Here are a few sources to get you going.
- Intel Social Media Guidelines
- Sun Guidelines on Public Discourse
- IBM Social Computing Guidelines
- Mayo Clinic
- Edelman Online Behavior Policies and Procedures
- Easter Seals Internet Public Discourse Policy
- NTEN Community Values
- Social Media Governance Policy Database
- 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy
- Opposites Attract: Corporate Social Media Guideli
Check out our whitepaper, Social Media, Risk, and Policies for Associations for an annotated social media policy, complete with alternate language for important policy points.