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The Executive's Guide to Enterprise Social Media Strategy: How Social Networks Are Radically Transforming Your Business by David B. Thomas, Mike Barlow

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CHAPTER 5

Creating Social Media Guidelines

Common sense is not so common.

—Voltaire

One of the first major challenges SAS faced when creating social media policies was to take the task force reports and turn them into a set of guidelines and recommendations. More than just a set of employee social media policies, these guidelines needed to encompass not only the what of what SAS employees should be doing but also the who and the how.

The task force recommendations formed a solid base, and it was a relatively straightforward task to turn them into guidelines. Once you’ve identified what your goals are for social media and your company’s readiness to participate and have looked at the areas you want to address, the hard work is done.

Even so, you need to make sure your guidelines address your employees’ social media needs, and are presented in a way your em­ployees will find practical and memorable.

Some companies have “crowdsourced” their social media policies, allowing employees to create and edit them on an internal Wiki. That is a bold and beautiful idea that fits perfectly into the ethos of social media. If you think that will work for your company, you’ll identify a lot of potential objections and areas of confusion from the start.

BE CLEAR AND CONCISE

As with any corporate document, it can be easy for your social media policies to stretch to page after page. Some corporate policies are long and cover lots of topics. Some companies feel comfortable limiting their policies to ...

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