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February 03, 2011

Super Simple Social Media Policy

I am not a social media marketing expert. I’m a retail marketer who believes in using really good marketing to connect with customers. That explained, I heard some great advice on creating a super simple Social Media Policy while attending the Blogwell Austin event on Feb. 2.

Andy Sernovitz, CEO at the Social Media Business Council, reminded us of the juvenile sexual innuendo joke where you add “... in bed” at the end of a fortune cookie saying. For example...


That’s funny. It’s also a useful idea, says Andy, to borrow when writing up a company Social Media Policy.

Most businesses, especially big businesses, have corporate conduct guidelines explaining how to behave when on the job. Most, if not all, of these guidelines can be used as the basis for a super simple Social Media Policy. All one has to do is add “... online” at the end of each conduct guideline statement. For example...






Of course, adding “... online” to a company’s existing corporate conduct guideline policy does not cover everything a business needs to concern itself with when designing its Social Media Policy. However, it probably covers most things.

For a much deeper dive into designing a Social Media Policy check out WOMMA’s resources and the resources from


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Absolutelly simple and stright-to-the-point statements. Very helpful!

this makes me think maybe we don't need social media policies -- we just need engagement guidelines to guide all interactions -- hmmm...
-- denise lee yohn

What a great visual!

Reminds me of this post by Michael Hyatt, 5 Reasons Your Company Doesn't Need a Social Media Policy

Companies get way too caught up in the nuances of a new tool on policy matters, instead of taking this simple fortune cookie approach. Stick with the principles, then apply the medium. That should take care of 95% of it.


That's a reasonable list from Michel Hyatt. This fortune cookie idea to design a Social Media Policy is just a kooky way to stick with the principles and apply the medium.

I like the concept, but it seems this is more difficult in conveying a positive spin on what CAN be done, not just a list of DO NOTs (like the example). You're right - most corporate policies already cover the DO NOTs. But how can we add the DOs with the "... online" in a way that shows the company has bought into what's going on and wants to encourage employees/associates in the same?

Rick ... this is for a super simple policy guideline and as I explained in the post, this concept "does not cover everything a business needs to concern itself with when designing its Social Media Policy."

The simple solve could be to write something like: Do engage online without sharing confidential company information. Do engage online without making offensive or hostile comments. Etc.

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