Considerations for Social Media Policy: A Marketer's Purview - 2012

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I gave this presentation at TechAmerica, June, 2012, HR and Legal Social Media Policy Roundtable event. …

I gave this presentation at TechAmerica, June, 2012, HR and Legal Social Media Policy Roundtable event.

There is much balancing to be done when creating social media policy. You need to inform and guide, but you need to be careful you do not set up so many restrictions that the business does not fully benefit from the use of social media by employees.

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  • I am a person whose job did not exist 5 years ago. There are few guidelines for what I do. There is no precedence. My main guide has been my common sense. You, in this room, are needed to clarify guidelines and policies so that not only is the company protected, but that I and others like me have a clear understanding of those guidelines.
  • Can you really control your employees? No. You have to build guidelines and policies that give them a clear framework from which to work.
  • Personality has replaced the brand logo. Humanizing the brand is the true opportunity of social media. Social media policies need to allow for the value of human communication.
  • Social media accounts set up with branding and without permission. Loosing the brand name on a social platform due to employee leaving the company. (example: Flickr will not transfer an account even if the employee who set it up wants to hand it over.) Employees using external sharing sites to have discussions that should be kept in-house. Employees promoting the brand in one tweet and posting someone’s raunchy YouTube video in the next. Employees promoting the company’s products without any statement of who they work for.
  • Along with your official, legal document… think about putting it into a format that employees will actually pay attention to. Of course this means different things depending on your audience. Ogilvy China created a very fun cartoon that conveys their message in a manner that encouraged employees not only to watch and pay attention, but also to share it with others - - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5fxNh6alLY
  • This study done by IBM in 2011 shows CMOs feel they are better prepared for issues around privacy and regulatory considerations than data and social. Is there a false sense of comfort for some?
  • Monitor regulations and monitor social media. But should you monitor your employee’s personal social media? You will have to keep a close eye on labor protection agencies (like the NLRB in the U.S.) to know the answer to this at any given time.
  • You have to balance your policy to make sure it is not so restrictive that there is no room for experimentation that may benefit the business. “ Social media policy 1.0 was fluffy and fun. 2.0 has to address case law, ” says Ruth Day, chief privacy officer at UBM. But in the process, you have to remember not to miss out by shutting out the potential of social media in the process.
  • Because people don ’t necessarily relate their activities online with being in front of clients or co-workers. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare were not created as business tools. They were created to share social life. To connect with friends.
  • All of them! All your employees have potential connections online that could serve you well … or not. But I would say that those you assign social media responsibilities should get some extra time and guidance to make sure they understand.
  • Keep a keen eye on new definitions from regulatory agencies that may affect your industry. You can’t expect that your employees are going to be able to keep up. For their protection as well as the business, you have to monitor changes and adjust your policies as needed.

Transcript

  • 1. Considerations for YourCorporate Social Media PolicyA Marketer’s Purview
  • 2. Full disclosure: I am not a legal or ahuman resources professional.Fine print: One of my favorite movies is Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”Very fine print: All movie images in this presentation are from The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock 1963. Image above is by GabrielHardman, 2011, http://heathencomics.deviantart.com/art/Hitchcock-s-The-Birds-sketch-200205461
  • 3. “A lot of our employees now have Twitter accounts. It’s becoming difficult to control. We need guidelines.”HR and Legal
  • 4. Personality Has Replaced the LogoPolicy must allow for true human connection.
  • 5. Tales of corporate social media horror abounds.
  • 6. Policies should guide, not frighten employees
  • 7. Privacy and regulatory issues should probablybe higher in concern.
  • 8. Monitor, listen and guide as needed.
  • 9. Give your employees room toexperiment.
  • 10. Why should you have a separate policy for socialmedia from the usual employee code of conduct?Social media platforms have mostly beencreated for personal use and people tend toforget that online the lines of personal andprofessional life get blurred.
  • 11. Who are the employees that need to be madeaware of social media policies?All of them!
  • 12. Who owns a branded social account if anemployee started it or has a strong personal brandassociation to it.There should be clarity in your policy about whocan create ‘branded’ social media accounts andwho ultimately owns them.
  • 13. Monitor regulators: NLRB, FDA, FTC,SEC, FINRA & other industry specific regulators
  • 14. • Look at other company policies for guidance but don’t assume they are appropriate for your business.• Monitor social media about and from your company.• Clarify ‘who owns’ any company branded social media accounts.• Clarify the company messaging on company/branded social media accounts.• Revisit and update your policy as needed. It should be a living document.
  • 15. Thank you! Victoria Harres @PRNewswire @VictoriaHarresvictoria.harres@prnewswire.com