Even if your business does not have a social media presence, should it have a social media policy?

Many businesses don’t have a social media presence – I can’t think of a good reason why. I don’t think there are any good reasons why, but I’m happy to take comment on that.

But even if you don’t have a social media presence, do you need a policy to protect the business, the people who work for it and other people connected to the business?

Let’s start with this; if your business has a social media or web presence you need:

  • A social media policy – it doesn’t have to be detailed “Don’t be stupid.”  is perfectly good. But everyone has to know that’s the policy.
  • A social media strategy – “Listen think talk” will do – but you might like to fill it out a bit.

You should really have a few other tools, but those 6 words should see you through.

So to the question, do you need a policy if your business doesn’t have a presence?

Check out this toe curling story … it’s short and makes the point.

As it happens, the organisation and the individual (it would appear from the conversation) each have a Facebook presence. I won’t (and can’t) comment on the organisation in question – I have no idea whether they have a social media policy – and I don’t want to single them out. I offer this as an example.

As the article says – and we constantly experience – the private and public are no longer separate. If an employee, board member, owner, volunteer publishes something on a website under their own name, not only are they responsible for what they say, but it could impact on the business.

A social media policy should NOT be there to prevent freedom of expression. It should be there so everyone knows where they stand.

And – like the New York Times – it only needs to boil down to “Don’t be stupid”.

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