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Author: Dan Thornton

Social Media policies and guidelines are vital for every business and employee. Not only are they helpful in ensuring that everyone in a company understands what is expected of them, they can also be a way to empower your employees to feel comfortable and confident in engaging with customers or clients via social media.

Rather than relying on the efforts of a small group of individuals to monitor, engage, interact and report on all activity across the plethora of social networks, blogs, wikis, forums and other locations, a good social media policy or set of guidelines means that the workload can be shared, and the responses can be crafted by those in the best position to respond with the right knowledge on a subject. That also cuts down on response times, as it avoids having to spend time internally contacting the right people within your business and obtain an answer.

Even with a small business, it’s good practice to instill the right guidelines and policies early on. That way you are already building a strong brand image and reputation, and new employees as you grow will pick up the right methodology by example as well as by instruction.

Company Name Document Name Link  
AFP Guidelines for using social media http://www.afp.com/newsletter/new-social-media-guidelines.pdf (PDF)
American Medical Association Professionalism in the Use of Social Media http://www.ama-assn.org//ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion9124.page
BBC Social Networking, Microblogs and other Third Party Websites http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/page/guidance-blogs-bbc-full
Boy Scouts of America Social Media Guidelines http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Marketing/Resources/SocialMedia.aspx
Cabinet Office Social Media Guidance for Civil Servants https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/62361/Social_Media_Guidance.pdf (PDF)
Civil Service Lets Get Social http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/news/lets-get-social
Coca Cola Social Media Principles http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/online-social-media-principles
Exeter University Social Media Guidelines http://www.exeter.ac.uk/staff/web/socialmedia/
Ford Ford Social Media Guidelines http://www.slideshare.net/opinionwatch/ford-social-media-guidelines-scoot-monty
HP Blogging Code of Conduct http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/blogs/codeofconduct.html
IBM Social Computing Guidelines http://www.ibm.com/blogs/zz/en/guidelines.html
Imperial College London Social Media Guidelines http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/webguide/socialmedia
Intel Social Media Guidelines http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/legal/intel-social-media-guidelines.html
International Olympic Committee Social Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines http://www.olympic.org/social-media-and-internet-guidelines
Inter-Paliamentary Union Social Media Guidelines for Parliaments http://www.ipu.org/PDF/publications/SMG2013EN.pdf (PDF)
Nursing & Midwifery Council Social Networking Sites http://www.nmc-uk.org/nurses-and-midwives/advice-by-topic/a/advice/social-networking-sites/
Oracle The Oracle Social Media Participation Policy https://blogs.oracle.com/otn/entry/the_oracle_social_media_partic
Roche Roche Social Media Principles http://www.roche.com/social_media_guidelines.pdf (PDF)
Tesco Social Media Colleague Guidelines https://www.ourtesco.com/media/2013/09/social_media_colleague_guide_160913.pdf (PDF)
University of Texas at Austin Social Media Guidelines http://www.utexas.edu/know/directory/guidelines/
Thomson Reuters Social Media Guidelines http://thomsonreuters.com/site/social-media-guidelines/
University College London Social Media http://www.ucl.ac.uk/social-media
University of Michigan Guidelines for the use of social media http://www.voices.umich.edu/docs/Social-Media-Guidelines.pdf (PDF)
University of York Social Media Guidelines http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/hr/resources/policy/social-media-guidelines.htm
Walmart Walmart’s Social Media Guidelines http://corporate.walmart.com/social-media-guidelines

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