Why do you need a Social Media Policy?
Due to the rapid increase of social media use within organisations for both business purposes and also for personal use, it is strongly advised that all organisations invest in an adequate social media policy to protect both the organisation’s interests and the interests of your staff.
A social media policy not only sets out appropriate guidelines for use when the organisations has asked staff members to use social media on behalf of the business, but it also protects the organisation by way of setting clear guidelines for fair use. Once a social media policy has been set, staff should be trained to further ensure that the expectations of both parties are known to all.
Code of Conduct – Ethics Guidelines
A clear code of conduct is also advised to be attached to the organisation’s social media policy. If you are looking to organise your own code of conduct, a good place to find an example is from The Communications Council of Australia. They are the peak body representing agencies in the marketing communications industry to media, government and the public.
You can download a copy of their Code of Contact at this link Communications Council Code of Ethics
Social media is now an integral part of the communications industry. It has grown to encompass marketing. It is increasingly powerful in capturing community sentiment and is very responsive in influencing our thoughts about people, organizations, actions, products, brands and behaviour.
If you are a private person you need to read and adhere to the code to protect yourself.
If you are a company you will be tempted, like many other companies, to encourage your staff to use social media to help promote your products or brand. If you do, then you will need to have a policy in place and you will need to teach your staff about that policy. You would not want to let your staff loose on the social media world without guidance, for they could quickly turn on the company if they got into legal trouble and could rightly claim that they had not received necessary training / protection / ongoing guidance etc.
There are many places to find all sorts of information and guidance about the protocols of using social media for personal and for commercial use and guidance to avert the wrath of the law. We all need to make sure that we do not inadvertently slip over the line into incorrectly using someone else’s intellectual propriety or into delivering what others may interpret as personal abuse.