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Seven Critical Questions to Ask Before Developing a Social Media Policy

  • Seven Critical Questions to Ask Before Developing a Social Media Policy-

    Some organizations assign policy writing to the CIO, others have decided it's the general counsel's job, while in other cases, a self-appointed committee decides to craft a policy. It's useful to gain agreement about who is responsible, accountable, consulted and involved before beginning work on the policy and, where possible, a cross-section of the company's population should be involved in the policy creation process. It's important to remember that there is a difference between policy — which states do's and don'ts at a high level — and operational processes, such as recruitment or customer support — which may use social media. These operational processes need to be flexible and changeable and adhere to the policy, but each department/activity will need to work out specific governance and process guidelines.

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Seven Critical Questions to Ask Before Developing a Social Media Policy

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  • Seven Critical Questions to Ask Before Developing a Social Media Policy-3

    Some organizations assign policy writing to the CIO, others have decided it's the general counsel's job, while in other cases, a self-appointed committee decides to craft a policy. It's useful to gain agreement about who is responsible, accountable, consulted and involved before beginning work on the policy and, where possible, a cross-section of the company's population should be involved in the policy creation process. It's important to remember that there is a difference between policy — which states do's and don'ts at a high level — and operational processes, such as recruitment or customer support — which may use social media. These operational processes need to be flexible and changeable and adhere to the policy, but each department/activity will need to work out specific governance and process guidelines.

Social media disrupts the long-standing rules of business in many ways, but crafting a social media policy is premature unless the designers of the policy answer seven critical questions first, according to Gartner, Inc.

"Social media offers tempting opportunities to interact with employees, business partners, customers, prospects and a whole host of anonymous participants on the social Web," said Carol Rozwell, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "However, those who participate in social media need guidance from their employer about the rules, responsibilities, 'norms' and behaviors expected of them, and these topics are commonly covered in the social media policy."

This slideshow highlights seven critical questions Gartner has identified that designers of social media policy must ask themselves.

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