Elements of a Social Media Policy

Make it About What People Can Do, Not What They Can't

By , July 19, 2011.
Elements of a Social Media Policy
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You know your organization's social media policy is a good one when it starts sounding less like a checklist and more like common sense, says Sherrie Madia, social media expert and author.

"It's about setting guidelines and best practices, as opposed to simply saying 'Here's a list of things not to do,'" says Madia, Director of Communications, External Affairs at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and author of several current and forthcoming books on social media.

"We need to, in these policy documents, include examples: 'This is the right thing to do. This is what we mean.' It's about showing them."

Ultimately, the measure of a good social media policy is whether it feels right to your organization. "If you're reviewing your social media policy and it starts to sound an awful lot like common sense, then chances are you've gotten it right. But that common sense has to be offered in the context of this new space."

In an exclusive interview about social media policies, Madia discusses:

  • Where organizations miss the boat on creating good policies;
  • The elements of good - and bad - policies;
  • Advice for organizations looking to create or refine their policies.

Madia, Ph.D. is an educator, author and trainer. Her most recent books include The Social Media Survival Guide (Also available in Spanish), The Online Job Search Survival Guide, and S.E.R.I.A.L.PRENEURSHIP: The Secrets of Repeatable Business Success. She is frequently cited by the national media as an expert in social media.

In addition to her role at Wharton, she is managing partner of EyeCatcher Digital, a strategy consulting firm, offering corporate training in presentation skills, corporate image consulting, and strategy planning.

To hear the entire interview with Sherrie Madia: click on one of the audio options at the top of this blurb.

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