Sample Social Network Policies
Below you will find sample social network policies from three companies in three different industries. These policies are there to provide you with food for thought as you consider what an ideal social media policy should be.
After you read them please discuss the aspects of the policies that you do and don’t like.
Then, working as a group, write a brief social networking policy on the Draft Social Network Policy Page.
With the rise of new media and next generation communications tools, the way in which Company employees can communicate internally and externally continues to evolve. While this creates new opportunities for communication and collaboration, it also creates new responsibilities for Company employees. This Internet Postings Policy applies to employees who use the following:
- Multi-media and social networking websites such as MySpace, Facebook, Yahoo! Groups and YouTube
- Blogs (Both Company Blogs and Blogs external to Company)
- Wikis such as Wikipedia and any other site where text can be posted
All of these activities are referred to as “Internet postings” in this Policy Please be aware that violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Common sense is the best guide if you decide to post information in any way relating to Company. If you are unsure about any particular posting, please contact the Company “internet postings” email alias for guidance. For instance, if you are writing about Company business where you have responsibility, you may wish to make sure your manager is comfortable with your taking that action.
Your Internet postings should not disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary to the company or to any third party that has disclosed information to Company. If you comment on any aspect of the company’s business or any policy issue in which the company is involved and in which you have responsibility, you must clearly identify yourself as a Company employee in your postings or blog site(s) and include a disclaimer that the views are your own and not those of Company. In addition, Company employees should not circulate postings they know are written by other Company employees without informing the recipient that the author of the posting is a Company employee. Your Internet posting should reflect your personal point of view, not necessarily the point of view of Company. Because you are legally responsible for your postings, you may be subject to liability if your posts are found defamatory, harassing, or in violation of any other applicable law. You may also be liable if you make postings which include confidential or copyrighted information (music, videos, text, etc.) belonging to third parties. All of the above mentioned postings are prohibited under this policy.
When posting your point of view, you should neither claim nor imply you are speaking on Company’s behalf, unless you are authorized in writing by your manager to do so. If you identify yourself as a Company employee on any Internet posting, refer to the work done by Company or provide a link on a Company website, you are required to include the following disclaimer in a reasonably prominent place: “the views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Company.” Your Internet postings should not include Company’s logos or trademarks, and should respect copyright, privacy, fair use, financial disclosure, and other applicable laws.Company Blogs (located on are blogs requiring corporate approval in which employees may blog about Company and our industry. Only Company Blogs may include the company’s logo.Company Blogs may also include links back to Company web destinations. All Company Blogs must include a legal disclaimer stating that all posts by the author, guest author and visitors reflect personal thoughts and opinions which are not necessarily those of the company.
Company may request that you avoid certain subjects or withdraw certain posts from a Company Blog if it believes that doing so will help ensure compliance with applicable laws, including securities regulations.Company reserves the right to remove any posted comment on Company Blog site(s) that is not appropriate for the topic discussed or uses inappropriate language.Company also reserves the right to post particular communications on a Company Blog. If a member of the news media or blogger contacts you about an Internet posting that concerns the business of Company, please refer that person to Company public relations, see: Your Internet postings should not violate any other applicable policy of Company, including those set forth in the Employee Resource Guide and the Code of Business Conduct. You agree that Company shall not be liable, under any circumstances, for any errors, omissions, loss or damages claimed or incurred due to any of your Internet postings.Company reserves the right to suspend, modify, or withdraw this Internet Postings Policy, and you are responsible for regularly reviewing the terms of this Internet Postings Policy.
At Company, our social media strategy involves connecting our consumers with our employees in the digital space whenever possible, and providing value to them in the process. As a result, we have specific rules for online engagement, which, amongst other variables, involves abiding by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s Code of Ethics.
- Always request that our social media influencers be transparent and disclose their relationship, as well as anything they’ve received as a result of that relationship with Company
- Insist on honesty of opinion. We want both positive and negative reviews of our vehicles
- Offer influencers engaging experiences that are worth talking about. We won’t be cutting and pasting press releases into e-mails in hopes someone will post them
- Always carefully target our outreach to ensure that we aren’t “spamming” anyone with unwanted messages
- Listen carefully to suggestions and concerns
- Compensate influencers for consulting or other duties they do for Company. This compensation will solely be for their time as an advisor and will not include an expectation that they will write about the project – favorably or unfavorably
- Apologize quickly for any mistakes we make. No one is perfect and we are sure that we will make a misstep in our efforts to engage with the social web, but we will be sure to learn from our mistakes
- Share this policy with all influencers we work with
1.0 Policy Statement
Social media may be used by Company employees for business-related purposes subject to the restrictions set forth in this policy. These restrictions are intended to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory restrictions and privacy and confidentiality agreements. Social media includes items such as blogs, podcasts, discussion forums, and social networks.
The purpose of this policy is to provide Company employees with requirements for participation in social media, including Company-hosted social media, and in non-Company social media in which the employee’s Company affiliation is known, identified, or presumed.
This policy applies to Company and their subsidiaries
Note: Deleted for this workshop to save paper.
5.1 Using Social Media. Employees are expected to adhere to Company compliance requirements and the Company Principles of Responsibility when using or participating in social media. All the rules that apply to other Company communications apply here, specifically: respecting members, patients, customers and one another; protecting confidentiality, privacy and security; and safeguarding and proper use of Company assets.
5.2 Be Respectful. Employees may not post any material that is obscene, defamatory, profane, libelous, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful, or embarrassing to another person or entity when posting to Company-hosted sites.
5.3 Company-Hosted Blogs. Company-hosted blogs must focus on subjects related to the organization.
5.4 Abide by the law and respect copyright laws. Employees may not post content or conduct any activity that fails to conform to any and all applicable state and federal laws. For Company’s and our employees’ protection, it is critical that everyone abide by the copyright laws by ensuring that they have permission to use or reproduce any copyrighted text, photos, graphics, video or other material owned by others.
5.5 Obtain pre-approval before setting up Company-hosted sites. Employees must seek approval from their supervisor before setting up a Company-hosted blog or other social media site.
Non-Company Hosted Sites
5.6 Proprietary Information. Employees may not disclose any confidential or proprietary information of or about Company, its affiliates, vendors, or suppliers, including but not limited to business and financial information, represent that they are communicating the views of Company, or do anything that might reasonably create the impression that they are communicating on behalf of or as a representative of Company.
5.7 Member/Patient Confidentiality. Employees may not use or disclose any member/patient identifiable information of any kind on any social media without the express written permission of the member/patient. Even if an individual is not identified by name within the information you wish to use or disclose, if there is a reasonable basis to believe that the person could still be identified from that information, then its use or disclosure could constitute a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Company policy.
5.8 Self-Hosted Sites. Employees must not say or suggest that the views and opinions they express related to Company and health care topics represent the official views of Company.
Requirements Applicable to Both Company and Non-Company Hosted Sites
5.9 Policy application. This policy applies to employees using social media while at work. It also applies to the use of social media when away from work, when the employee’s Company affiliation is identified, known, or presumed. It does not apply to content that is non-health care related or is otherwise unrelated to Company.
6.1 Blogging Best Practices (follows next page)
Sample Policies Likes and Dislikes
If it helps organize your team think about the sample policies and the policy you will be developing, use this form to record some the things you liked and disliked in the policies you saw.
Items Liked Items Disliked