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Social Media Policy: How to Protect Online your Brand and Employees

by Massimo Burgio, April 2011

I have been advocating the adoption of social media policies for a while – first of all with clients, then also presenting and discussing the topic at the top international search and social media marketing conference around Europe, such as SMX Stockholm (Sweden), Web Congress Malaga (Spain), DM10 Digital Markedsføring 2010 (Denmark) and, more recently, Search Engine Strategies London (UK).

The content of my presentations at the different events have been changing according the time I had allocated by the event, but the core of the research, methodology and messaging about the creation and release of a corporate social media policy for employees is pretty much the same, as the one you can find in the presentation in this page.

The social media policy topic in the presentation has been explored in full, as I had the opportunity to spin off the topic in a Facebook Marketing session at one of my speaking sessions at International Search Summit London 2010 (ISS London). This is also the most complete presentation I did on the social media policy topic to date, so it was about time to create a GSI blog post for it.

Since I had a full half hour for my speaking session at ISS London, I could have talked in details about social media policies, including and discussing in the presentation the following topics and scenarios:

  • understanding the risks of brand exposure, and how fragile brand reputation can be on social media networks
  • all the reasons why you can get banned on Facebook and your account being revoked
  • what happens if your company gets a social media corporate account banned or revoked
  • why companies need a social media policy if they are going to engage in online marketing activities, and even if they don’t
  • where a company’s social media policy should be applied, and to whom
  • a few examples of classic corporate social media policies
  • benchmark on best practices for corporate social media policies
  • how to build your own company social media policy
  • inspirations for social media policies: bloggers’ code of conduct and blogosphere ethics
  • social media networks: universal etiquette / rules of engagement
  • social media do and don’t, and best practices for managing Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo! Answers, YouTube, Digg and FriendFeed accounts
  • final case history from the Italian firm Telepass, one of the latest clients at GSI: Telepass’ social media policy + company guidelines for employees’ engagement in online conversations (see the decalogue in the picture below, as well as in the presentation embedded in this page)

For more details on social media policies check out the presentation embedded on this page from Slideshare, it’s all there!

By the way, have your company already issued a corporate social media policy? Do you need support from GSI? We’ll be happy to help.

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gsi-logo-oldiesThis section of the site used to be active as a blog, but we stopped blogging at the beginning of 2013. This article is a couple of years old, but we think that its insight still provides value, so we included it in our new site as an “online marketing resource”. A sort of oldies but goldies.

We apologize if some references are not very updated. We “remastered” the blog posts to fit the new GSI site design, and included some updates when republished the content, but we also decided to leave the blog posts mainly untouched, as they represent a sort of “family photo album” for us.

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