Social Media Policies – from 175 to 5

If you are looking for templates to create a social media policy, look no further.

The Social Media Governance website has more than 175 different policies you can peruse.  It includes policies from companies of different types, sizes, and sectors.

If you are writing your organization’s first set of social media policies, this website is a must-use resource.

The question is – do you have time to read 175 different templates?

If you are like most CEOs, the answer is no. You don’t have the time to read 175 templates. Nor do you have the time for a lawsuit down the road.

When crafting a policy for a specific company, you might whittle down the list by
looking at a sampling of polices in 5 major categories:

  1. Look for policies written by law firms. Why? They
    might know a thing or two about not breaking the law.
  1. Look for policies written by communication and marketing firms. Why? They would understand – and want their staff to take advantage of – the unique opportunities of social media. These firms are likely to give leeway in policy to allow for innovation and experimentation. This is important.
  1. Look for policies written by organizations in your field. Why? They might have insight into sector specific issues which should be addressed in your policies.  In social media, it’s not about new laws. It’s about how the old laws and regulations – like HIPAA – will be applied.
  1. Look for policies written by organizations (large and small) with a successful online presence. Why? They are obviously doing a decent job of a) risk management and 2) fostering creativity. A good set of social media policies will do both. It is a delicate balance.
  1. Look for policies which are general, not specific to a social
    media site.
    Why? Sites come and go. Sites change their format and rules. If your policies reflect a site, they will soon be out of date. Instead, policies should guide social media activity overall. Let the staff sort out the details of how to apply the policy to an individual site.

The list of policies available on the Social Media Governance website is truly remarkable. I’m delighted it’s there as a resource. These suggestions above will help streamline your search so you can hone in on those policy samples most illuminating for your organization….. and when you have crafted your social media policy, don’t forget to add it to the database!


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