Does Your Organization Have Social Media Guidelines for All Staff? | Beth’s Blog

Does Your Organization Have Social Media Guidelines for All Staff?

Organizational Culture

One of the basic tenets of my first book with Alison Fine, “The Networked Nonprofit,”  was that everyone in the organization participates in social media from the executive director on down – not just the “social media person.”   Having staff use social media as part of their work can extend the organization’s network and increase the organizational comfort level through regular practice.  This was a big topic that was explored during the #npsmpeer workshop at SXSW.     Brian Fitzgerald who works at Greenpeace and is an expat in Amsterdam tweeted an amazing example of employee social media guidelines.

Social Media Guidelines or what some call a social media policy summarizes your organization’s social media goals, how staff will participate (dos and do nots), identifies legal and privacy issues, a social media work flow, and staffing needs.   The general tone should be one of trust and empowerment.  All this should be communicated succinctly in a document that is based on discussion, roadshows, and training for staff on using social media effectively.

What I really like about the TNT document that Brian shared is its easy to digest and visual format.     It begins with an overview of why the organization is using social media, goals, and a friendly invitation to employees to use the guide.

Dos and Don’ts

Social media response chart loosely based on the AirForce Blog Response Framework.

 

Does your organization have social media guidelines for all employees that strike a positive tone, easy to read and understand, and helps scale your organization’s social strategy?   Tweet your questions and share your resources on Twitter using #npsmpeer hashtag.

15 Responses

  1. Danielle says:

    Love the idea of sharing guidelines visually (I’ve always been a fan of flow charts) but making the staff instructions more visual is a great idea.

  2. Brian says:

    Thanks, Beth. Big shout out to Cecilia Scalaro who led the creation of the document at TNT. Our own adaptation is much less pretty!

    http://bit.ly/gp-smg

  3. Lisa Goddard says:

    Nonprofits also need to keep their eye on what the NLRB has to say about social media. These rulings have influenced how I’ve written social media guidelines.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/technology/employers-social-media-policies-come-under-regulatory-scrutiny.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  4. Beth says:

    Lisa: Yes that is important! I linked to write up on legal issues and social media in the post – http://www.bethkanter.org/legal-counsel-friends/ there are some excellent resources from Bolder Advocacy and they have legal counsel who can give free phone TA.

    How have these guidelines changed or impacted your social media guidelines at the Food Bank?

  5. Cecilia says:

    Thanks for the nice words on TNT Express’ guidelines :) Glad you like them!! As mentioned they are under Creative Commons license. More languages and information here: http://www.tnt.com/corporate/en/site/home/about_us/our_business/social_media_guidelines.html

  6. Beth Kanter says:

    Cecilia: This is amazing that you have made these available via creative commons! What type of support and training to do you offer employees to help them be effective for your company on social channels?

  7. [...] We adopted a set of Guidelines that TNT created (creative commons) to ENCOURAGE their staff to use social: bit.ly/YQe91n #npsmpeer — Brian Fitzgerald (@brianfit) March 10, 2013  [...]

  8. Mark Hallman says:

    Great post Beth,
    The visual tools are a unique way to handle social media policy. Too often policy comes in text heavy, hard to understand, manuals that staff tend not to read.

    This is a much more engaging way to handle social media policy!

  9. [...] índole y, de hecho, ha sido ya adoptada por Greenpeace y está sirviendo de inspiración a especialistas del sector de las organizaciones sin ánimo de [...]

  10. Sarah says:

    I think the image is a great tool to use to explain social media to staff. I constantly hear barriers from the ED and Programs staff about them not needing to engage in Social Media.

    This post has given me inspiration though, thanks Beth!

  11. [...] We adopted a set of Guidelines that TNT created (creative commons) to ENCOURAGE their staff to use social: bit.ly/YQe91n #npsmpeer — Brian Fitzgerald (@brianfit) March 10, 2013 One of the basic tenets of my first book with Alison Fine, "The…  [...]

  12. [...] We adopted a set of Guidelines that TNT created (creative commons) to ENCOURAGE their staff to use social: bit.ly/YQe91n #npsmpeer — Brian Fitzgerald (@brianfit) March 10, 2013 One of the basic tenets of my first book with Alison Fine, "The Networked…  [...]

  13. Jay Geneske says:

    This is quite helpful! We’re working on this at the moment at the Rockefeller Foundation, and I’m excited to incorporate best practices, guidelines, considerations (like NLRB). Curious if anyone has added general media policy to their document, since there is so much overlap?

  14. [...] That said, social media policies should encourage empowerment and trust over restriction and fear. Check out these resources: * TechSoup and Idealware Guide to Social Media Policies * Legal Issues * Crisis Communications * Online Database of Social Media Policies * Beth Kanter [...]

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