Lesson 6: Social media policies

The lesson for this week was on the topic of social media policies in the workplace. With the clear advancement and new developments of many social media means of communication companies, workplaces, and libraries are having to start considering how to deal with the use of them for personal use and for company use. If companies, or in my case, libraries, want to take advantage of some of the many social media avenues out there then they have to develop policies to make sure that they are used properly in the workplace. This lesson covered many examples of what other companies have done and I did some research on my own to see if I could find further advice. One list of policy advice that I found was a list of 11 tips for the public sector that included some tips such as: social media should support the organizational mission and overall communication strategy; make decisions on what would be appropriate content; assign workload and decision responsibilities and distribute them equally among a social media ringmaster, content creators, curators, account administrators, and content providers with knowledge about the issues; understand your audience; make access to social media content available through alternative mechanisms; make clear what appropriate “netiquette” is;  decide on what social media avenue to use (Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter, etc.) and who will set it up and administer it; set up daily routines; measure and interpret how successful the use of the social media is; and provide training so other co-workers can understand the social media being used (Mergel, 2012).  

An  article by Ogneva outlined 9 Best Practices for Social Networking in the Workplace. Nine key rules that Ogneva lists includes: 1. Understand company policy, best practices and culture (be professional and know the do’s and don’ts); 2. Company communities evolve best practices and policies (cultures are constantly changing so must the policies as well); 3. Mixing personal and professional (remain professional in your social media communication but add your own “personality” to it while keeping it respectful); 4. Public vs. private spaces (if you have a message to communicate, decide if it needs to go to a specific group or if it can be sent to a general group); 5. Be mindful in private (keep “trash” talk out of company emails, even if it is in a private email); 6. The New York Times test (would you be comfortable if what you are posting would appear on the front page of the New York Times? Think of this before posting); 7. Become an expert (if you know an answer to a question, answer it!); 8. Respect privacy (do not repost threads without permission of the author and respect the privacy of others in email groups or in private threads); and 9. Remember the golden rule (Treat your co-workers how you would want to be treated at work). (Ogneva, 2012). 

From these two articles above I think that if these policies or rules are carried out then social media can be used and be very helpful in the workplace and libraries. However, with the constantly evolving state of social media, attention would have to be paid to keep these policies current and relevant. 

Mergel, Ines. (2012). 11 Social Media Tips for the Public Sector. Retrieved Feb. 18th, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/07/30/public-sector-social-media/. 

Ogneva, Maria (2012). 9 Best Practices for Social Networking in the Workplace. Retrieved Feb. 18th, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/01/23/social-media-workplace/. 

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