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Planning: Social Media Policies for Employers

Many companies are considering whether and how to draft or update social media policies for their personnel.  I would encourage those employers to spend some time in the “planning” stage of that process. In working through this planning process, companies would be wise to (1) involve information technology, human resources, other company decision-makers and legal counsel; and (2) identify the company’s needs, goals and expectations of any new or updated technology policy. Hand-and-mouse

In walking through this early planning stage, please keep in mind that sample handbooks or personnel policies aren’t nearly as helpful to employers in this particular area as other areas.

For example, a sexual harassment policy generally delivers the same message to employees, regardless of the employer’s size, industry or business objectives. 

A technology policy, however, has to be tailored to the individual company’s unique business interests. Whereas one company may want to encourage its sales group to learn how to market the company on Twitter or Facebook, another company may be compelled to focus first on important privacy considerations. 

Ultimately, businesses have to identify the considerations driving the policy for the policy to be effective. Although model policies may offer some helpful tidbits, companies shouldn’t let samples distract them from their own distinct goals.

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