Coca-Cola just released a new social media policy — and it’s full of common sense wisdom that every company can learn from. Here are my favorite parts:
- It’s only 3 pages. A social media policy should be a addition to existing company policy–you don’t need to start from scratch.
- Social media doesn’t change the rules of honesty. “The same rules that apply to our messaging and communications in traditional media still apply in the online social media space; simply because the development and implementation of an online social media program can be fast, easy, and inexpensive doesn’t mean that different rules apply.”
- Have fun, but be smart. “The best advice is to approach online worlds in the same way we do the physical one — by using sound judgment and common sense.”
- No-B.S. full disclosure. “Every Web site, “fan page”, or other online destination that is ultimately controlled by the Company must make that fact known to users… We also require bloggers and social media influencers to disclose to their readers when we’re associating with them, whether by providing them with product samples or hosting them at Company events, and we need to monitor whether they are complying with this requirement.”
- Be conscious when mixing your business and personal lives. The Company respects the free speech rights of all of its associates, but you must remember that customers, colleagues and supervisors often have access to the online content you post. Keep this in mind when publishing information online that can be seen by more than friends and family, and know that information originally intended just for friends and family can be forwarded on.
Coke also sets 10 “Principles for Online Spokespeople” that everyone should copy:
- Be Certified in the Social Media Certification Program.
- Follow our Code of Business Conduct and all other Company policies.
- Be mindful that you are representing the Company.
- Fully disclose your affiliation with the Company.
- Keep records.
- When in doubt, do not post.
- Give credit where credit is due and don’t violate others’ rights.
- Be responsible to your work.
- Remember that your local posts can have global significance.
- Know that the Internet is permanent.