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Social Media Policy

Social media policy for employees is an important issue.
Where can the line be drawn so the company benefits but employees personal freedoms are not interfered with unreasonably?

Below is the first draft of altex’s social media policy and we welcome your comments and please feel free to adapt our policy to create one of your own for your organisation.

Altex marketing’s social media policy (draft) December 1st 2009

Social media marketing is about people and for sure altex wants its people to be aware of the threats and opportunities it offers –both for altex and its clients.

We believe participation in social media can help you to build stronger, more successful business relationships (and personal ones too of course). LinkedIn is an example place where our company encourages participation.

We acknowledge that the most valuable working hours are the ones that add value, and very often, that extra value can come from an employee’s networks of friends and colleagues online.

Using “personal” social media such as Facebook, Orkut should not interfere with an employee’s performance and we should all be quite clear about what is acceptable practice – social media usage during the work should be beneficial for altex as a company.

WHEN YOU’RE REPRESENTING ALTEX AS AN EMPLOYEE:

Demonstrate your expertise.
Make sure you write and post about your areas of expertise. If you are writing about a topic that altex is involved with but you are not an expert on the topic, you should make this clear to your readers.

It’s a conversation. Don’t be afraid to bring in your own personality and say what’s on your mind. Invite dialogue and response. Encourage comments.

Are you adding value? Altex people’s social communications should help our customers, partners, and colleagues. It should ideally provoke thought and build a sense of community. If it helps people improve their knowledge or skills, build their businesses, do their jobs, solve problems, or understand altex better – then it’s all good – it’s all adding value.

Be careful. Make sure your efforts to be open and transparent don’t violate altex’s privacy, confidentiality, and any management guidelines for external commercial communications.

Ask an altex director for permission to publish or report on conversations that are meant to be, or you think might be, private or internal to altex. If in doubt check!

Please never comment on anything related to legal or financial issues.

Also be clever about protecting yourself, your privacy, and altex’s confidential information. Whatever you write is widely accessible and will be around for a long time, so think carefully before you start typing.

Create buzz. altex is making important contributions to the internet marketing industry, especially in Estonia but in wider circles too. Our business activities are moving towards high-value innovation. Let’s share the exciting things we’re learning and doing—and open channels to learn from our peers.

Be a Leader. Do not put down our competitors or altex. Don’t respond to every criticism. Try not to create bad blood. Be careful and considerate. Once the words are out there, you can’t put them back in the box! When disagreeing with others’ opinions, keep it appropriate and polite.

If you feel very emotional about an issue then discuss with an altex director first.

Did you mess up? If you screw up then admit it. Be open and fast with your corrections. If you edit an old post on a blog then clarify you have done so.
If in doubt. Stop. Think.. If you’re about to publish something that makes you feel just a little uncomfortable then take a break, review these guidelines and try to work out what’s the issue and then deal with it. If it still worries you then speak to an altex director before you hit “send”.

Your Responsibility: What you write is ultimately your responsibility. Participation in social computing on behalf of altex is not your right but an opportunity, so please treat it seriously and with respect.

WHEN YOU’RE PARTICIPATING ON YOUR OWN BEHALF:

You are who they say you are. In online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. Just by identifying yourself as an altex employee, you are creating perceptions about you, your expertise and about altex by our shareholders, customers, the market place and colleagues.

Everything you do online will, in effect, be there forever and social media content will be available for virtually anyone to view at some time – now and in the future.

Be aware. The delete button does not remove content from all the servers that hold such information.

Consider keeping your personal networks personal and business ones business although that’s easier said than done.

Be ethical. Respect the written and un-written laws and ethics: do not promote hatred or illegal activities. Never ever put down altex clients and partners and always respect their expectations of confidentiality. If in doubt, remember: less is more.

Be open and transparent. Your honesty – or dishonesty – will be quickly picked up in social media.
If you think there might be a conflict of interest with altex or readers might think your views represent altex views, be always sure to add a disclaimer. Especially if it is clear (or easily detectable) that you are an altex employee.

Remember that your personal contacts might be connected to your business contacts, so that the latter could still have access to the information you post to your personal network. For that reason you might want to consider editing your privacy settings to protect your personal freedom.

If you write on a non-altex website, where possible please use a disclaimer something like this: “The work-related views on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent my employer’s positions, strategies, or opinions.”

If you obtained information (or a piece of it) solely based on the fact that you are an altex employee, please consider that information to be altex-related and thus keep in mind that when writing about the issues/topics around it, you are always representing altex, too.

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As a related topic, if you don’t yet have a social media strategy then you might like to read these social media marketing strategy guidelines we published on BBN recently.

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There are 4 comments .

Peeter —

Well, altex people. 1st try not to use all caps. 2nd try to avoid self serving bullshit like the content above. Be human…

Reply »
Robin Gurney

Thankyou Peeter for those deatiled and invaluable comments. I am sure we will all learn a lot from them.

Reply »
Peeter —

Glad I could help! Judging by the tone of this blog, you really need some serious rethinking of your SM approach. Details? Read your last comment…

Reply »
Robin Gurney

Peeter, we really do welcome constructive criticisms but anon comments saying its “self serving bullshit” are not professional or constructive.
our SM policy is ours and we share it for others to get what they want from it.
perhaps you would like to make your further comments under your full real name (like we do when we comment on peoples blogs – see our SM policy) or I may just delete them if I find they are pointless, offensive or do not promote meaningful dialogue.

Reply »

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