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How to create your social media policy

Creating a social media policy isn’t an optional part of your program, it should be the first step.

And thanks to a lot of hard work and collaboration from the members of SocialMedia.org (of which I’m the CEO), this process is a lot easier. Today we’re thrilled to announce we’re releasing a completely updated edition of our Disclosure Best Practices Toolkit.

The Toolkit – a widely downloaded, open source, member-written series of checklists – now includes updated language to cover all social media platforms and three new checklists: training employees and advocates on disclosure, ethics questions for vendors, and best practices on monitoring and responding to disclosure problems.

When the first Toolkit was released in 2008, many members of the social media community saw these issues as a matter of opinion or intellectual debate. But with the FTC’s October 2009 release of the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, it’s clear that proper social media ethics are a matter of law, not personal preference.

The good news: The FTC says that one of the clear protections for your company is a social media policy. With the help of this Toolkit — which has formed the basis for hundreds of social media policies used by companies today — you can create one for your brand.

How to use it:

  • Walk through the checklists with every department using social media, ask the tough questions, and then create something that works for your company.
  • Take it and make it your own.
  • Work your policy into your formal training program.

And remember: We’re not creating or proposing new industry standards or rules (SocialMedia.org is not an association, regulator, or standards group), our members are simply sharing their learnings with a wider audience.

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Comments

  1. Adam Schorr June 22, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    Very helpful! But it only covers the use of social media as a marketing tool. There are other legal/regulatory issues as well (e.g. HR issues). It would be great if you guys could develop a more comprehensive set of guidelines that senior executives could use to make sure that all functions have thought through the use of social media carefully.

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