Ultimate List of Social Media Policies, Procedures, Governance and Guidance

Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Blog, Info security, Social Media | 2 comments

Ultimate List of Social Media Policies, Procedures, Governance and Guidance

Social media policies have become of paramount importance as more and more people connect on-line via various social media platforms. Many organisations are now recognising the new opportunities to engage with customers, prospects and targeted communities to help raise awareness of their products and services and grow revenue.

Many organisations are also realising the potential business risks that unguided or irresponsible social media usage can have if they do not have effective social media policies, procedures, guidance or governance in place.

Employees who use social media either as part of their job or in a personal capacity, need guidance  as to the company’s expectations of acceptable online behaviour, and educated in social media best practice and etiquette and adherence to social media policies that not only help protect the brands reputation but also the employee.

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The line between personal and professional social media use is blurred

Social media policies are necessary for all organisations and all employees, management and the board need to be aware of guidelines for proper use of social media at work and at home as it relates to being employed by the company.  Whether you like it or not, the majority of your employees will already be using social media in their personal lives and the line between personal and professional topics is often blurred, so a well written, and well communicated set of social media policies and guidelines must make it clear to everyone of what is permissible, and what is not.

A social media policy can be the first line of defence in mitigating risk for both the employer and the employee.

A well-written social media policy should:

  • Provide employees with guidelines for communicating in the social and online world, clearly setting expectations on what is permissible to say or do online, thus ensuring the organisation’s representatives understand what is right and wrong and the consequences of posting obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, discriminatory or hateful content to or about another person or entity.
  • Provide clarity around the organisation’s values and culture for customers, employees and the public alike.
  • Set expectations beginning at the point of employee induction, ensuring problems are proactively prevented rather than being left to impact upon the business and afterwards require a crisis response.
  • Identifies who within the organisation is responsible for content control and approval.
  • Reduce lost time and productivity spent dealing with unauthorised usage of social media, including dealing with the consequences of conflict related to social media use.
  • Reduce risk and legal exposure for the business.

social media policies, procedures, governance and guidance Social Media Policy Awareness Training

A policy is worthless if you do not provide education and awareness with every employee for following the guidelines. Do not assume that everyone has read and understood the guidelines.  Instead, show them what is deemed appropriate and provide examples for acceptable and unacceptable uses of social media behaviour. If there is no one in-house to provide this training,  hire someone like myself who can provide customised training and awareness programs specific of your business needs. By providing clear guidelines and parameters to your employees, you will ensure that your organisation’s brand is enhanced and that your reputation is not inadvertently damaged by misguided employee comments.

Knowing where to start to create your own social media policies, procedures, governance and guidance documents can be difficult as this area of corporate governance is relatively new.

Free social media policy downloads

Below is my list of links to over 300 free social media policies, procedures, governance and guidance resources that I’ve found on the net, feel free to follow these links and use what you find to help you build a social media policy that will help your organisation to protect your brand, and protect your online reputation.

Free Social Media Policies

About.com Template: Blogging and Sample Social Media Policy
About.com Template: Internet and Email Policy
ACAS Social networking and how to develop a policy
Adam J. Copeland Report An Examination of Ecclesial Social Media Policies
American Express Open Forum 3 Great Social Media Policies to Steal From (Kodak, Intel, IBM)
American Institute of Architects Policy on Staff Use of Social Media
American Red Cross Social Media Handbook for Local Red Cross Units
American Red Cross Online Communications Guidelines
amp3 Public RelationsSocial Media Guidelines
Apple Retail Blogging and Online Social Media Guidelines:
Associated Press (AP) Social Media Guidelines for AP Employees
Astonish Results Example Social Media Policy (for Insurers)
Australian Government Department of Finance and Deregulation Social Media 101: A Beginner’s Guide for Finance Employees
Australian Government Asia-Pacific Civil-Military Centre of ExcellenceStaff Guidance – Use of Social Media
Australian National Botanic Gardens Social Media Policy
Australian Public Service Commission Interim Protocols for Online Media Participation
Baker & Daniels Social Media Staff Policy
Ball State University Social Media Policy
BBC Social Networking, Microblogs and other Third Party Websites: Personal Use
BBC Editorial Guidelines, personal use of Social Networking
BBC Use of Social Networking and other third party websites
BBC Online Services Guidelines in Full
BBC News Social media guidance
BBYO Staff/Volunteer Presence on Social Networking Sites
Best Buy Social Media Policy
Blue Wire Media Social Media Guidelines Templates
Bread for the World Online Technologies, Social Media and Bread
BT Forum Guidelines
BT Social Media Guidelines
Business Week A Twitter Code of Conduct
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) FaceBook Policy
Capgemini Social Media Guidelines
Catholic Relief Services Comment Guidelines for FaceBook
Centre for Technology in Government, University at Albany, SUNY Designing social media policy for government: Eight essential elements
Charlene Li in Open Leadership Social Media Policies Directory
Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Social Media Guidelines
Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Social Media Policies Guidelines for Consultation
Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Code of Conduct
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Share Your Story – Use and Access
ChurchM.ag 12 Tips for Developing a Social Networking Policy for Your Church
ChurchSafety.com Simple Guide to Safe Social Media Use, Social Media Safety Self-Assessment, Using Social Media Safely
Church Tech Today Does Your Church Have a Social Media Policy?
Cisco Internet Postings Policy
City of Hampton, VA Social Media Policy
City of Seattle Blogging Policy
City of Seattle Social Media Use Policy
Cleveland Clinic Social Media Policy
Coca-Cola Coca-Cola Social Media Policies
Colorado State University Social Media Policy
Daimler AG Social Media Guidelines
Dave Fleet Corporate Social Media Policies eBook
Deloitte Social media at Deloitte – Participation, communication, transformation
Dell Online Policy
Dell Global Social Media Policy
DePaul University Social Media Guidelines
Doug Cornelius Blogging/Social Internet Policy (for law firms)
E.W. Scripps Social Media Policy
Easter Seals Online Community Guidelines
Eastern University Social Networking Policy
Electronic Frontier Foundation How to Blog Safely (About Work or Anything Else)
Elizabeth Hannan Corporate Social Media Policy Guidelines
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Using Social Media Internally
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Using Social Media to Communicate With the Public
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Representing EPA Online Using Social Media
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Social Media Policy
Eric Schwartzman Social Media Policy Template
ESPN Social Media Guidelines For ESPN Employees
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Social Media and Congregations
eWay Direct Social Media Policy
Fairfax County, VA Facebook Comments Policy
FedEx Blog Policy
Feedster Corporate Blogging Policy
Fellowship Church Personal Website and Weblog Policies
Fellowship Church Blogging Policy
FINRA Guide to the Internet for Registered Representatives
Flickr Community Guidelines
Ford Motor Company Digital Participation Guidelines
Fudder Netiquette
Gartner Public Web Participation Guidelines
General Services Administration (GSA) Social Media Policy
Georgia Tech Guidelines for Student Blogging
Get Satisfaction Company-Customer Pact
Gibraltar Associates Associates Social Media Policy
GM Blogger Policy
GM GM Social Media Policy
Government of Catalonia Style and Usage Guide of the Government of Catalonia’s Social Networks
Governor of Massachusetts Governor’s Office Social Media Usage and Policies
Greater London North County Scouting and Social Networking Guidelines
Greteman Group Social Media Policy
H&R Block H&R Block Response Process
Hamilton College Social Media at Hamilton College
Hamilton County – Jobs and Family Services Guidelines for effective use of social networks, blogs, podcasts and live chats
Harvard Law School Terms of Use
Harvard Law School Corporate Blogging Policies and Guidelines
Harvard University Guidelines for Using Social Media
Headset Brothers Social Media Policy
Hill and Knowlton Blogging Policies and Guidelines (selected extracts)
Hill and Knowlton Collective Conversation Code of Conduct
Hill and Knowlton Social Media Principles
Hill and Knowlton Pledge for Bloggers
Holy Trinity Catholic Church Social Media Policy
Hospital Sant Joan de Deu – Barcelona Social Media Policy
HP Blogging Code of Conduct
IBM Social Computing Guidelines
IBM Case Study: The Impact of Corporate Culture on Social Media
iCrossing Employee Social Media Guidelines
Inc. Magazine How to Write a Social Media Policy
InQbation Government Policy Guidelines
Intel Social Media Guidelines
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Social Media Staff Guidelines
International Olympic Committee (IOC) Blogging Guidelines for Persons Accredited at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, Beijing 2008
International Olympic Committee (IOC) Blogging Guidelines for Persons Accredited at the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver 2010
Iowa Hospital Association Comment Policy
IT Business Edge Social Media Policy and Procedures Template Download
Jaffe Template: Social Media and Social Networking Policies and Procedures
Judith Lindeau Template: Social Media Policy for Associations (Real Estate)
Kaiser Permanente Social Media Policy
Kansas State University Social Media Guidelines
Kodak Social Media Tips
Krones AG Tips for using social media (English and German)
L.A. Times Social Media Guidelines
Lake Forest College Social Media Guidelines
Laurentian University Social Media Handbook
Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Centre Comments Policy
LifeChurch.tv Social Media Guidelines
LiveWorld Social Media Content Guidelines
Lutheran Church of Hope Digital Life Policy
Maryland Association of CPAs Social Media Policy
Mashable.com Should Your Company Have a Social Media Policy?
Mason, Inc. Social Media Guidelines
Massachusetts Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs Social Media Usage and Guidelines
Mayo Clinic For Mayo Clinic Employees
Mayo Clinic Participation Guidelines
Mayo Clinic Comment Policy
Media Law Resource Centre Compilation of Legal Actions Against Bloggers
Microsoft Channel 9 Doctrine
Microsoft Tweeting Guidelines and Blogging Guidelines
Missouri Department of Transportation Post A Comment – Use Policy
Montana State University Athletics Social/New Media Guidelines
Mosman Municipal Council (Australia) Twitter Guidelines
National Public Radio (NPR) NPR News Social Media Guidelines
Navitas Social Media Policy
New Jersey Institute of Technology Social Media Policy
New Media Project Recommendations for Using Social Media
New PR Wiki Blogging Policies List
New York City NYC Social Media Customer Use Policy
New York City Department of Education Social Media Guidelines
New Zealand Government Web Standards
New Zealand State Services Commission Principles for Interaction with Social Media
New Zealand State Services Commission The Guide to Online Participation
Nonprofit Technology Network Tips for Writing Your First Social Media Policy
Nordstrom social networking guidelines for Nordstrom employees
North Point Church Social Media Guidelines
Northern Lights PR Top tips for creating an employee social media policy (PDF)
Oce Social Computing Guidelines
Ogilvy Ogilvy PR Global Social Media Guidelines 2010 (DRAFT)
Ohio State University Medical Centre Philosophy on Social Media
Ohio State University Medical Centre Social Media Participation Guidelines
Ohio State University Medical Centre Social Media Participation Policy
Ontario College of Teachers Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media
Open Society Foundations Web Style Guide
Opera Employee Blogging Policy
Oracle Social Media Participation Policy
Orange County County Social Media Use Policy and Procedure
Our Saviors Lutheran Church Social Media Policy and Guidelines
Pfizer Social Media Playbook
Plaxo Communication (Blogging) Policy
Porter Novelli Our Social Media Policy
Powerhouse Museum Communication Using Public Facing Museum Blogs – Policy
PR-Squared Corporate Social Media Policy: Top 10 Guidelines
Presbyterian Church (USA) – General Assembly Social Media Guidelines for the General Assmebly
Province of Nova Scotia Social Media Terms of Use Guidelines for Employees
Province of Nova Scotia Government Social Media Policy
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) PRSA Social Media Policy
Queensland Government Official Use of Social Media
Razorfish Employee Social Influence Marketing Guidelines
Reuters Reporting From the Internet and Using Social Media
Rhetorica Blogging and Comment Policy
RightNow Social Web Employee Policy
Roanoke County, VA Social Media Policy
Roanoke Times News Standards and Policies
ROARapp Social Media Handbook for Churches
Robert Scoble Press FAQ
Robert Scoble The Corporate Weblog Manifesto
Roche Social Media Principles
Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas Social Media Policy
rtraction Policy Tool for Social Media
Safe-Wise Consulting YMCA Social Networking Policy Template
Sam Houston State University Social Media Policy and Procedures Manual
SAP Social Media Participation Guidelines 2009
Seattle University Social Media Policy
Second Baptist Church Social Media Guidelines
Sentara Social Media Policy
Shift Communications Top 10 Guidelines for Social Media Participation
Smithsonian Institution Web and New Media Strategy
Social Computing Journal Enterprise Social Media Usage Policies and Guidelines
SocialFish Social Media, Risk, and Policies for Associations
SocialFish Drafting Social Media Guidelines
Social Fresh 4 Examples of Social Media Policies
Social Fresh 5 Principles To Remember In Your Social Media Policy
Social Fresh 6 Elements Of A Corporate Blogging Policy
Social Fresh How To Create Facebook Community Guidelines
Social Fresh Template To Help You Start Your Social Media Policy
Social Media Business Council Disclosure Policy Toolkit
Social Media Governance Social Media Policy Database
Social Media Policy Tool Social Media Policy Generator
SpareBank 1 Rules for Blogging
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church Parish Policy for External Communications
State Government of Victoria – Department of Health Twitter Policy
State Government of Victoria – Department of Justice Social Media Policy for Employees
State of Delaware Social Media Policy
State of Mississippi Social Media Policy
State of North Carolina Best Practices for Social Media Usage in North Carolina
State of Oklahoma Social Networking and Social Media Standards
State of Oklahoma Social Networking and Social Media Guidelines
State of South Carolina – Budget Control Board Social Media Policy
State of South Carolina – State Library Social Media Policy
Sun Microsystems Guidelines on Public Disclosure
Sun Microsystems Alumni Blog Aggregation Additional Terms
Sunnybrook Hospital Health Sciences Centre Social Media Commenting Policy
Sutter Health Policy for Social Networking and Other Web-Based Communications
Sutter Health Guidelines for Participation in Online Communities
Sutter Health Social Media Policy
Sutter Health Social Media Tip Sheet
Telstra 3 Rs of Social Media Engagement
Tesco.com Social Media Policy
The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut Suggested Practices and Guidelines
The Law Society – British Columbia Social media and social networking Model policy
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre Blog Policies and Guidelines
The Well Community Guidelines
Thomas Nelson Blogging Guidelines
Thomson Reuters Social Media Guidelines
TNT (Italy) Guidelines for Officials on Social Media (Italian)
Town of Avon, Indiana Social Media Policy
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Guideline to Acceptable Use of Internal Wikis and Blogs Within the Government of Canada
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Guideline for External Use of Web 2.0
Tufts College Social Media Overview
Tufts University Social Media Guidelines and Policy
U.K. Civil Service Principles for Participation Online
U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Social Media
U.K. Government Template Twitter Strategy for Government Departments
U.K. Ministry of Defence Online Engagement Guidelines
University of Cumbria Student Social Media Policy (Word doc)
U.S. Air Force Air Force Blog Assessment
U.S. Air Force New Media and the Air Force
U.S. Army Social Media Handbook 2013 (Slideshare)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Jacksonville District Social Media User Guidelines
U.S. Coast Guard Social Media – The Way Ahead
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Social Media Guidelines
U.S. Department of Defence Responsible and Effective Use of Internet-based Capabilities
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Social Media Policy
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Use of Web-Based Collaboration Techhologies
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Blogging at EPA for Greenversations
U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Citizen Services (OCS) Blog Policies
U.S. General Services Administration Social Media Policy
U.S. Marine Corps Responsible and Effective Use of Internet-based Capabilities
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Social Media Strategy
U.S. Navy Web 2.0: Utilizing New Web Tools
U.S. Navy Guidance for Official Posts
U.S. Navy Navy Ombudsman Social Media Handbook
U.S. Navy Navy Command Social Media Handbook
UC Berkeley Alumni Association Community Policy
Unic Social Media Guidelines
United Arab Emirates (UAE) Government Social Media Guidelines
United Church of Christ – Connecticut Conference Social Networking Policy
University of Colorado – Boulder Social Media Guidelines
University of Essex Social media policy
University of Houston Social Media Policy
University of Maryland Medical Centre Comments Policy and Blog Participation Terms and Conditions
University of Michigan Guidelines for the Use of Social Media
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Department of Athletics Policy on Student-Athlete Social Networking and Media Use
University of Oregon Social Media Best Practices
University of Southern Mississippi Social Media Policy
University of Virginia Library Social Media Guide
US Medical Supplies Social Media Policy
Utah State Archives and Records Service Preliminary Guidance on Government Use of Social Media
Vanderbilt University Social Media Handbook
Vanderbilt University Medical Centre Social Media Policy
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Twitter Guidelines
VIA Rail Canada Social Media Policy
Voest Alpine Social Media Manual I (2010)
Voest Alpine Social Media Manual II (2012)
Volvo Social Media Guidelines for Employees
Wake County, North Carolina Web 2.0 Guidelines for Use
Wal-Mart Twitter External Discussion Guidelines
Wal-Mart Social Media Guidelines
Walker Art Centre Blog Guidelines
Washington Post (via PaidContent.org) Newsroom Guidelines for Use of Facebook, Twitter and Other Online Social Networks
Washington Post Digital Publishing Guidelines
Webtrends Social Media Guidelines
Wells Fargo Community Guidelines
WOMMA Social Media Policy Template
Workplace Fairness Off-Duty Conduct
Yahoo! Personal Blogging Policy
YMCA – West Suburban (Massachusetts) Social Networking Policy
YMCA Houston Social Media Policy
YMCA of Greater Rochester Social Media Policy
YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Social Networking Policy
YMCA of Silicon Valley Social Media Policy
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Have your say

If you know of any links I may have missed, please let us know in the comments below and I’ll add them – Many thanks!

Next Steps:

If you would like help with developing your social media policies, or social media policy awareness training for your staff and management teams on how to use social media effectively while protecting your brand and reputation, or would like to book Ian to speak at your next event then:

Call Ian now on: +44 (0) 7979 593 970 or CLICK HERE> Which social media package is RIGHT for you?>
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About Ian McKendrick

Ian is a social media and IT Strategist, Broadcaster, and Keynote Speaker on IT Strategy, Social Media and Information Security. Connect with Ian on Google+

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  1. Great! The perfect database for everyone that wants to have anything to do with social media. The outlines of every policy is pretty much the same but this is actually a good sign. Means that every one’s on the same page.

    • Great! The perfect database for everyone that wants to have anything to do with social media. The outlines of every policy is pretty much the same but this is actually a good sign. Means that every one’s on the same page.

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