By now you’ve learned what goes into a social media policy in Chapter 1.
You’ve also seen dozens of real-life social media policy examples in Chapter 2.
In this chapter, we’ll look at several social media policy templates you can download and use to hit the ground running when creating your own policy.
These templates are also a good resource if you’re looking to rework an existing policy that may not be cutting it anymore.
Below you’ll find three different social media policy templates you can use immediately. We find that every company is a little different, so between these three templates we’re fairly confident that one of these templates will serve as a good starting point for you.
Of course, you’ll need to make some edits to the templates after downloading them. The main changes we’d make are:
Without further ado, here are the three templates you’ll find below:
Let’s dive in!
This simple social media policy template is for companies that want a basic, conservative policy.
This policy does not encourage employees to participate online, and errs on the side of caution in general.
It could be a good starting point if your company has never had a social media policy.
Social media has changed the way we communicate, both at work and in our personal lives. [Company] has established these guidelines for appropriate use of social media, including but not limited to:
These guidelines apply to both company sponsored social media and personal use as it relates to [Company].
Thank you for observing these guidelines as you engage in online activity.
We created this template for companies that are more comfortable with the idea of having their employees participate in social media, and in particular to help build the company’s brand online.
Given the reality of social media in the workplace, this “Advanced” social media policy template acknowledges and encourages this behavior for employees’ and the company’s mutual benefit.
Social media has changed the way we communicate and interact, and offers new ways to engage with customers, colleagues, and beyond. In fact, when used right, social media has the power to help us sell, market, and recruit more effectively.
We encourage your participation on social media. Your unique and trusted voice helps to build [Company]’s brand. That’s because there is no better spokesperson for [Company] than you. And the numbers back it up:
As a company, it makes sense to support, not inhibit, your social media participation. It is in this spirit that we ask you to follow the guidelines below.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to [Email Address] with any questions or comments. Thank you in advance for your cooperation!
The following template is a fairly conservative policy. It was ruled as a lawful social media policy by the National Labor Relations Board.
It’s meant for companies looking to put in place a policy that covers the basics, but doesn’t do much more than that (i.e. it doesn’t explicitly encourage employees to participate online).
To borrow a sports analogy, it prefers to play defense and avoid any mistakes. Of course, you can’t win many games playing defense alone…but now we’re straining the analogy.
At [Company], we understand that social media can be a fun and rewarding way to share your life and opinions with family, friends and co-workers around the world. However, use of social media also presents certain risks and carries with it certain responsibilities. To assist you in making responsible decisions about your use of social media, we have established these guidelines for appropriate use of social media.
This policy applies to all associates who work for [Company], or one of its subsidiary companies in the United States ([Company]).
Managers and supervisors should use the supplemental Social Media Management Guidelines for additional guidance in administering the policy.
In the rapidly expanding world of electronic communication, social media can mean many things. Social media includes all means of communicating or posting information or content of any sort on the Internet, including to your own or someone else’s web log or blog, journal or diary, personal web site, social networking or affinity web site, web bulletin board or a chat room, whether or not associated or affiliated with [Company], as well as any other form of electronic communication.
The same principles and guidelines found in [Company] policies and three basic beliefs apply to your activities online. Ultimately, you are solely responsible for what you post online. Before creating online content, consider some of the risks and rewards that are involved. Keep in mind that any of your conduct that adversely affects your job performance, the performance of fellow associates or otherwise adversely affects members, customers, suppliers, people who work on behalf of [Company] or [Employer’s] legitimate business interests may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Know and follow the rules
Carefully read these guidelines, the [Company] Statement of Ethics Policy, the [Company] Information Policy and the Discrimination & Harassment Prevention Policy, and ensure your postings are consistent with these policies. Inappropriate postings that may include discriminatory remarks, harassment, and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct will not be tolerated and may subject you to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Always be fair and courteous to fellow associates, customers, members, suppliers or people who work on behalf of [Company]. Also, keep in mind that you are more likely to resolved work-related complaints by speaking directly with your co-workers or by utilizing our Open Door Policy than by posting complaints to a social media outlet. Nevertheless, if you decide to post complaints or criticism, avoid using statements, photographs, video or audio that reasonably could be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening or intimidating, that disparage customers, members, associates or suppliers, or that might constitute harassment or bullying. Examples of such conduct might include offensive posts meant to intentionally harm someone’s reputation or posts that could contribute to a hostile work environment on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion or any other status protected by law or company policy.
Be honest and accurate
Make sure you are always honest and accurate when posting information or news, and if you make a mistake, correct it quickly. Be open about any previous posts you have altered. Remember that the Internet archives almost everything; therefore, even deleted postings can be searched. Never post any information or rumors that you know to be false about [Company], fellow associates, members, customers, suppliers, people working on behalf of [Company] or competitors.
Post only appropriate and respectful content
Using social media at work
Refrain from using social media while on work time or on equipment we provide, unless it is work-related as authorized by your manager or consistent with the Company Equipment Policy. Do not use [Company] email addresses to register on social networks, blogs or other online tools utilized for personal use.
Retaliation is prohibited
[Company] prohibits taking negative action against any associate for reporting a possible deviation from this policy or for cooperating in an investigation. Any associate who retaliates against another associate for reporting a possible deviation from this policy or for cooperating in an investigation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Associates should not speak to the media on [Employer’s] behalf without contacting the Corporate Affairs Department. All media inquiries should be directed to them.
For more information
If you have questions or need further guidance, please contact your HR representative.
Chapter 3 is officially in the books!
By now you’ve got a solid grasp on social media policies, and even have a template to get you started.
Without the right implementation strategy, your work will be for nothing and your policy will just collect dust. Or at least whatever the digital equivalent of dust is.
So onward and upward, as we dive into Chapter 4: How to Implement Your Social Media Policy.