Social Media Policy

Todd

The world has changed. We are a plugged-in people, constantly bombarded by friend requests, photo tags, status updates and links to videos of funny babies and pets. At Greteman Group, we embrace these changes and are working to harness the technologies fueling these changes for our clients. We also embrace the powerful ability for individuals to leverage and enhance their personal brands through these tools.

At the same time, we recognize the challenges brought on by these changes. In order to address these challenges, we have created the following guidelines to inform team members’ use of social media tools both in and out of the office.

We’re adding the following policy to our official employee manual. We thought that many of you might be having similar discussions at your companies, and thought posting our policy might help guide your conversations.

Overall Philosophy
While you are on company time, please refrain from online activities that don’t bring value to Greteman Group. Think of your personal time online just as you think of personal phone calls or emails.

Blogging
Microsoft has a bone-simple blogging policy. Be smart. We ask the same of you. Please be smart in your online activities. They reflect on both you and the agency. The ability to publish things that may never go away and can be forwarded endlessly, well, it gives us pause and we hope it does you, too.

We view personal websites and blogs as good things. We want you to avail yourselves of these media. We respect your online activity as a medium of self-expression. Please note though that confidentiality agreements prevent disclosure of all client and Greteman Group business. Readers may view you as a de facto spokesperson for our company.

While you are employed with Greteman Group, please observe the following blogging guidelines:

  1. Do not work on your personal blog during business hours. If you just have to blog, write a post for the Greteman Group blog.
  2. Please make it clear to your readers that the views you express are yours alone and that they do not necessarily reflect the agency’s views. To help reduce the potential for confusion, we would appreciate it if you put the following notice – or something similar – in a reasonably prominent place on your site:
    The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.
  3. Respect the company’s confidentiality and proprietary information.
  4. Ask your direct supervisor if you have any questions about what is appropriate to include in your blog.
  5. Be respectful to the company, fellow team members, clients and competitors.
  6. Understand and comply when the company asks that topics not be discussed for confidentiality or legal reasons.

Online Social Networking
Online social networks include sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn (and many, many more).

There have been a number of questions regarding proper “etiquette” on these sites. While there are no official rules when it comes to the following, these are our recommendations.

  • Use Facebook and MySpace (and similar sites) as your personal network. If you don’t want to friend coworkers, vendors or clients, don’t feel pressured to.
  • Use LinkedIn as your professional network for adding work-related colleagues.
  • If you are uncomfortable with adding a contact, don’t add him or her. These might include former employees, competitors or that random, slightly creepy guy you met at an organization’s mixer.

The following are guidelines we request you abide by while you are employed with Greteman Group:

  1. Do not access your personal social network on company time.
  2. Block your LinkedIn contacts’ contact information from your other contacts. Sounds confusing, we know. Which is why we will show everyone how to do it at our next Oxygen Bar. If you’re still confused, just see a member of the iTeam for instructions.
  3. Be smart about what you publish. Once you put something out there, it can be difficult to retract. Make sure your online brand doesn’t diminish or tarnish your offline brand.

Twitter
Twitter has become so prevalent that it has earned its own section in our guidelines. The biggest concern when it comes to Twitter is not the time it takes to create a post, but the time and focus required to keep up with the numerous conversations.

Please observe the following Twitter guidelines:

  1. Do not let your Twitter posting interfere with your billable and company projects.
  2. Moderate the use of your Twitter monitoring tools (Twhirl, Twitterific, TweetDeck, etc.) during working hours.
  3. Part time employees have no reason to use Twitter while at work. Therefore, they are not allowed to use Twitter – both posting and listening – during their time at work.

Social Video
Watching a quick video on YouTube can spark creativity and lighten a stressful day. We don’t want to ban YouTube, we just ask that you moderate the time you spend watching videos. And, obviously, don’t let them interfere with your billable time.

Blog Reading
Just like videos, blogs are invaluable sources of inspiration and information. Please refrain from reading personal or non-industry blogs during company time. And, again, don’t let blog reading interfere with billable time.

Online Shopping
Unless it is work-related, please refrain from online shopping during company time.

eMail Forwards
Jokes, urban legends and get-rich email forwards are the oldest form of Internet-based social media. When it comes to company email, we ask that you think twice before hitting send and be judicious with the number of items you forward. And, if you’re unsure whether the Prince of Nairobi really is being truthful about a promised fortune, a quick stop by Snopes.com might be in order.

If you have any questions about these guidelines or any matter related to your site that these guidelines do not address, please contact a member of the iTeam.

—–

If your company has developed a social media policy, share it in the comments. If you haven’t, share how you’re handling social media usage. We can all learn from each other.

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20 Comments

  1. January 9, 2009 at 7:16 am — Reply

    […] 9, 2009 · No Comments The Greteman Group shares their social media policy for employees. You can share your own companies policy in the […]

  2. Cathy
    March 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm — Reply

    Bill Denny, an attorney with Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP is giving a presentation at the ABA Business Section Spring Meeting is entitled “Blah, Blah Blogs: Issues and Policies for the Ways Employees Communicate Online Today” and would like permission to include a copy of your Social Media Policy. Does that work for you?

    Cathy Petryshyn
    Director of Marketing
    Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP

  3. March 31, 2009 at 1:04 am — Reply

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  7. May 22, 2009 at 1:34 am — Reply

    Some companies, particularly those who are using social media themselves for events or other public occasions, are missing a huge opportunity by not allowing employees to use Facebook at work. If you have an event and you allow me to be on FB, I might well share it with my own contacts, increasing the reach. You can dramatically multiply your reach in a matter of moments with no extra work on your part, other than allowing people to have FB running in the background on their computer, checking in occasionally.

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  9. Cheryl
    July 9, 2009 at 5:17 am — Reply

    This is really a thoughtful and positive way to deal with social media issues. Thank you for sharing. We have struggled with attorneys, faculty, HR, etc., etc., to get it right. This works on many levels. Thank you!

  10. July 15, 2009 at 4:57 am — Reply

    It is nice that you share this information. It help for those who just adopt and knew about social media.

  11. August 2, 2009 at 8:37 pm — Reply

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  12. August 4, 2009 at 9:26 am — Reply

    Nice article and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I firmly believe that every organization big or small should have a social media policy. Recently I completed an analysis on usage of social media and its impact on productivity and have published my findings here http://www.gigathoughts.com/social-media/do-you-have-a-social-media-policy-for-your-organization.html

    Hope you guys find it useful and also do let me know your views on the same

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  18. […] Greteman Group: Do not work on your personal blog during business hours. If you just have to blog, write a post for the Greteman Group blog. – Lite trist attityd här. Kolla istället vad det finns för saker som företaget har som ligger i linje med de anställdas bloggar och ge dem incitament att skriva om sånt som har med företaget att göra. […]

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Social Media Policy