Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
October 11, 2009 9:48 PM

Does Your Company Need A Social Media Policy?

With more and more employees jumping on to platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn and years of Blogging and Podcasting already water under the bridge, most companies still don't have any kind of corporate policy or guidelines around Social Media, the company and their employees.

Now is the time to start thinking about one.

The most important concept to remember is that a policy or guidelines around Social Media is not meant to limit what people can do and say, but rather a way to help everyone know what the company considers "fair play" and what is "off limits". This type of document is also a great place for the company to really explain how they deal, interface and respond to their consumers (both the negative and the positive). It can also provide tips of how employees can make the most of their personal brands by understanding some of the generally accepted "rules" about what works (and what doesn't) in these online channels.

But, where do you begin in terms of putting a document like this together in a cohesive fashion?

Thankfully, the Social Media Governance website has over 105 Social Media policy documents from a wide variety of companies and industries - all available for free: Social Media Governance Database.


(hat-tip: Lisa)

By Mitch Joel

Comments Comments Feed
  • Mitch Joel

    Fantastic - this is a great resource that merits some close study. Will encourage my clients to contribute theirs. Thanks for sharing, Mitch and Lisa.

  • Posted by Sean
    Mitch Joel

    Not one of you most informative posts...must be a long weekend!

  • Posted by Kerline Docteur
    Mitch Joel

    As an Event Professionalism, I've wondered if the need for this exists. So many of my colleagues (myself included) use Social Media as an additional marketing platform.

  • Mitch Joel

    A treasure trove of information at that link. Thanks for that. Many companies are thinking about jumping into social media, but just aren't sure how to address the pitfalls. I'll be digging into some of this.

  • Posted by Patrick Lyver
    Mitch Joel

    We're just starting to get involved socially on a company level (I have been personally for years and years) so this hits home. I agree with it being a way to guide "fair play" and I also feel that it is needed in order to guide interaction towards positive brand conveyance (including which platforms we choose to represent ourselves on, our level of interaction, and the types of comments/responses/articles that we write).

    Thanks for sharing the link.

    Patrick Lyver - Kleurvision Inc.

  • Posted by Porsche Nguyen
    Porsche Nguyen

    Mitch- Thanks for posting the link to this wonderful resource. I am pretty sure The Social Media Governance Database will help a lot of companies struggling to provide clarity and order in the area of social media and employee/brand boundaries.

    Real-time analytics and brand monitoring resources will provide much needed guidance as well. Your readers might want to visit Heardable's social-search listening platform to see if this free tool works for them:

    Best, -Porsche

  • Posted by website design
    Mitch Joel

    You are right.Many companies don't have a policy or guidelines around Social Media.This will certainly hinder their business growth.This is a very important post.Companies ought to have a social media policy.Thanks.

  • Posted by Heather

    My company is starting to become aware of the impact of social media and has expressed an interest in getting involved. Setting guidelines will help to ensure the company brand is upheld. This is a fantastic resource, thanks.

  • Posted by Jamey
    Mitch Joel


    The link you provided is a great resource. My organization began drafting our Social Media Code of Conduct last March and were looking for examples of existing policies, they were hard to come by. At that time, we were unaware of the Social Media Governance Database. For anyone looking to create a best practice approach, this is a great list.

    I think it's also important that those challenged with developing guidelines to think of them as a way to create clear expectations, empower staff and manage the change rather than rules of what not to do. We're preparing to open access to 29,000 employees and it's about engagement not more rules.

  • Posted by Amrita
    Mitch Joel

    social media users should behave ethically, legally and to the best interest of the company and i also think that an overly strict social media policy can also limit the participation in social media programs and discourage new participates.

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