5 tips for creating and communicating employee social media guidelines

5 tips for creating and communicating employee social media guidelines

Smart Tip | Posted: September 17, 2012

Do your employees know how to use social media? According to an international labor and employment survey, although 76% of companies use social media for business purposes, almost half don’t have a social media policy. The survey also showed that over 40% of respondents reported employee misuse of social media. 

In order to prevent misuse, you need guidelines that eliminate confusion and inspire creativity. Here are five tips to ensure that your employee social media guidelines have a positive impact:


Introduce the purpose of social media at your company.

Tell employees how your company intends to use social media as a business tool.

Example: KPMG explains that the way we share, learn and do business is changing and that “KPMG has an opportunity to lead this change.” 


Reduce ambiguity. 

Focus on a few short, basic principles, and clearly define what constitutes acceptable behavior.  

Example: The Meltwater Group uses humor to run through three basic guidelines of social media. 


Encourage responsible use. 

Don’t prohibit use—empower employees to use social media professionally. Remove fear and anxiety by providing clear dos and don’ts.  

Example: Sutter Health encourages employees to use social media to connect with colleagues and network with peers. 


Be consistent with your brand. 

Integrate your social media guidelines with your existing goals, objectives and brand identity. 

Example: Ramsey Health Care’s social media principles reinforce its values.


Communicate your guidelines in an engaging way. 

Transform it into a fun, engaging video clip or a short, graphic guide.

Example: Voestalpine transformed its policies into a guide with important information highlighted and graphics to illustrate examples. 

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