What’s Your Policy on Social Media?

I’ve been doing some work on social media policies for a client, and today’s G+M had a well timed article:

Ottawa Cautiously Calculating When and How to Dive into Social Media.

I’ve created social media policies for a few companies now and they are always challenging and thought-provoking. Mostly because it’s easy to think it’s a simple thing: don’t say anything bad about the company, don’t say anything stupid. Don’t swear. Obvious things.

But good social media policies must go further than that. While Facebook and Twitter can be viewed as the cheeky counterpart to other marketing initiatives, that’s the thing – they are absolutely part of a greater marketing strategy. Sometimes cheeky is good, sometimes cheeky needs to be defined by the Communications team, not the CEO.

If you read the article, and change the name of the company from “Canadian Government” to something else, the concerns they have are legit:

They indicate a strong interest is sharing videos through YouTube and conversing with the public through Twitter and Facebook – but also a wariness of the potential for calamity when communicating through forums that cannot be tightly controlled. Fair enough. Think Domino’s Pizza.

The HRSDC lists several pages of risk… They include the possibility that some Canadians will think it is a waste of money, that people may try to create spoofing or mocking videos, and that there would be a perceived lack of transparency if users are not permitted to post comments.

Also fair enough. Except 22 Minutes already creates spoofing videos. And it won’t be a perceived lack of transparency, it will be a lack of transparency. You don’t ignore comments, customers or citizens hoping they will go away, you deal with them – or you wind up with this.

Very interesting. We’ll see how it plays out. While we’re on the subject, here’s a great infographic from soshable.com on 2011 hits and misses.



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