Huge List of Social Media Policies

I’ve been working on a set of social media guidelines for my library. It’s still in rough draft form, and has a long way to go (i.e., a bunch of meetings) before the library decides to use it.

Social media policies and guidelines can be really hard to write. Thankfully, Social Media Governance can help! This site has links to hundreds of social media policies from corporate, government, and non-profit organizations and businesses.

Here are some guidelines I found while poking through some of the links:

  • Please respect copyright. If it is not yours, don’t use it. It is very simple. It is that person’s choice to share his or her material with the world, not yours. Before posting someone else’s work, please check with the owner first. (From Adidas).
  • Be thoughtful about how you present yourself in online social networks. The lines between public and private, and personal and professional are blurred in online social networks. If you identify yourself as an Apple employee or are known to be one, you are now connected to your co-workers, Leaders and even Apple’s customers. You should ensure that content associated with you is consistent with Apple policies. (Apple Retail employees).
  • All AP journalists are encouraged to have accounts on social networks. They have become an essential tool for AP reporters to gather news and share links to our published work. We recommend having one account per network that you use both personally and professionally. (from the Associated Press).
  • AP staffers must be aware that opinions they express may damage the AP’s reputation as an unbiased source of news. AP employees must refrain from declaring their views on contentious public issues in any public forum and must not take part in organized action in support of causes or movements (also from the AP).
  • Guidelines for functioning in an electronic world are the same as the values, ethics and confidentiality policies employees are expected to live every day, whether you’re Tweeting, talking with customers or chatting over the neighbor’s fence. Remember, your responsibility to Best Buy doesn’t end when you are off the clock. For that reason, this policy applies to both company sponsored social media and personal use as it relates to Best Buy (from Best Buy).
  • Know that the Internet is permanent. Once information is published online, it is essentially part of a permanent record, even if you “remove/delete” it later or attempt to make it anonymous. If your complete thought, along with its context, cannot be squeezed into a character‐restricted space (such as Twitter), provide a link to an online space where the message can be expressed completely and accurately (from Coca-Cola).

Interesting stuff, huh? Remember – if you are thinking about creating some social media guidelines for your organization, you don’t have to start from scratch. Find some good examples, pull some points off those, and then tweak and expand as needed.

The Internet is our friend!

Image from Beth Kanter

One More on The Networked Nonprofit: Social Media Guidelines

One more post on The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change, by Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine. I like the book – good read, and much to think about. I had to do a little “translation” work – non-profits and libraries are similar in some ways, different in others.

On to the subject of this post – social media guidelines! Beth and Allison point out some good ideas for “codifying the social culture” by creating social media guidelines for staff.

In the process, they two useful posts:

#1 – 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy, from Mashable. Their points are really good, and include: Be Responsible for What You Write, Consider Your Audience, and Bring Value. Go read the post – good stuff there.

#2 – A Twitterable Twitter Policy, from the Gruntled Employees blog. Again, another great post – go read it. But here’s the tweetable policy: Be professional, kind, discreet, authentic. Represent us well. Remember that you can’t control it once you hit “update.” They call it a Twitter Policy, but I think it works pretty well for any social media.

So – good stuff. Check out the book!