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Sample Social Networking Policy
While there might already be users engaged in the use of social networking and identified as company employees, the likelihood is that only a handful of staffers are involved in this manner. As such, there might be a need to encourage them to sign on – having a social networking policy makes sense only if there are users engaged in social media in the first place.
To spur the uptake of social media engagement might entail the appointment of team leaders or executives either as bloggers or to actively engage in social networking. As this will likely constitute additional workload, it makes sense to factor the social media contributions of these employees into performance or annual reviews, if possible.
Depending on your company’s exact social media ambitions, it might be a good idea to have differing tiers of user engagement to recognize and compensate staffers accordingly. A “Casual” tier could have staffers who are subjected to the company’s social networking policy, but who are not compensated in any form. Someone in the “Evangelist” tier might be an employee who is expected to contribute more, but whose contributions are recognized as part of the employee’s job scope.
Users will need to be educated on the new policy, whether they are employees tasked to represent the company on the various social networks, or staffers who are already engaged on their own initiative. As appropriate, it might also make sense to reproduce the official social networking policy in the employee handbook, as well as having it accessible by electronic means.
Depending on the work culture and staffing exigencies, it is a good idea to conduct periodic training to educate employees on how to behave online. Topics could include topics such as how not to pick “fights” on the Internet, or ways to gracefully correct or recover from mistakes or erroneous statements.
A separate training session could be extended to supervisors or team leaders to help them understand how their own social media activities can influence their teams, and how to leverage their blogs to communicate with their teams in a positive manner.