The author, Judy Gougeon, is the President of Gougeon Insurance Brokers.

Our review of Gougeon’s Social Media Self-Audit pushed us to make some changes to mitigate our reputational and brand risk. One of those changes was an update to our Social Media Policy.

In addition to conducting some research to find, in our humble opinion, the “best” Social Media Policies out there (Best Buy and Ford), we also drew upon some of our clients who sent us their policies for review.

From the social media policies we loved, we compiled a list of 9 points that they all had in common:

  • Affiliation: Employees must disclose and be honest about their affiliation to the company when discussing work-related matters on the Internet.
  • Personal Opinion: Employees must state that their opinions do not reflect those of the company.
  • Don’t Discriminate: Employees should be aware that discrimination will not be tolerated.
  • Confidentiality/Non-Disclosure: Employees must understand that confidential matters must not be discussed in a public way (i.e., on social media). Employees should take care to protect the company and their customers.
  • Permanence: Have a reminder to employees that everything on the Internet is permanent; once posted, it cannot be removed.
  • Link to Corporate Brand: Ensure employees understand that they are linked to the company and it is their responsibility to protect the company’s brand.
  • Correction of Mistakes: Employees should understand that if a mistake is made, they must publicly admit it and correct it.
  • When in Doubt…NO: If an employee has doubts, then they shouldn’t publish it on social media.
  • State the Consequences of Non-Compliance: Employees must understand that reputational risk is serious. A Social Media Policy should clearly state the consequences of non-compliance.

We especially liked Best Buy’s Policy because it was succinct, clear and short.

From this learning, we developed a revised Social Media Policy Template, available in our website’s free Resource Centre. If you haven’t taken our Social Media Self-Audit, it will provide feedback on where your company stands (Self-Audit also available in our website’s Resource Centre). If it tells you that your company’s a superstar, then that’s not so bad either.

As you are reviewing your policy, it’s worth considering your vision on tone. We enjoyed those policies that took a positive approach. It’s also a good idea to keep your Brand Strategy, Core Values and Mission/Vision handy while creating your policy so that it accurately reflects your brand.

Gougeon Insurance Brokers remains committed to helping our clients reduce their risk and attain their goals. Brand risk and reputational risk, in general, are not transferable risks that are covered with insurance, so excellent policies and procedures can help your brand remain strong.

Topics: Social Media, social media policy, tips

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