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Social Media Guidelines: Regulation for what should be normal?

So it seems that many companies using social media guidelines. They should help to define clear rules for the communicazion in the social web. In 2010 and 2011 there have been analyzed about 55 guidelines and policies. Why companies regulate the behaviour in the social web?

It is for sure, that it is not easy to separate private affairs and work affairs. Often you just think about your work at home, meet people from the work or contacting possible customers in your freetime. Or the otherway you are writing your friend and make some meeting dates while you are working or you just buying gifts for christmas in onlineshops. You get friendship requests in facebook from customers or you connect to colleagues in linkdn.

If you really want to separate your work and your private affairs in the virtual world, you need to open two accounts at each website like Facebook, Linkdn, Twitter, etc. One Account you use only for private things and the other you use for business. Then you can separate very well, but who like to log off and log on again to see what’s happened. Well, i think many people like to have one single access to all information and don’t like to separate accounts. You also can use friend lists, or some features of the websites you are logged on.

Back to the Social Media Guidelines: Some results of the analysis are interesting, but there is nothing new:

  • mostly international companies providing social media guidelines.
  • employees should be honestly, authentic, respectful, gentlemens, transparent and the should use healthy common sense.
  • somes companies using the guidelines to recommend which content to publish.
  • employees should use their correct name for identification.

Why do i need a written guideline to be honestly, authentic, respectful, gentlemen-like and transparent? This should be something normal. There comes up a second question: What is the difference between virtual and real life? In both places you should behave as normal and like you do in your real world. Do not try to be someone else.

What i expect to be in social media guideline should cover content. Which content should i post, which target group and which platforms are the best for me? Or what content should i never post, e.g. in the health care sectore the employees should not make marketing for their companies products.

What do you expect of a social media guideline? I would not expect guidelines for what should be normal. Let me hear your comments.

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Karsten Pohnke About Karsten Pohnke
He is Consultant for SharePoint Solutions for collaboration, communication and business processes. He provides his customers applications based on standard features as well as development or combining the power of several microsoft tools like Dynamics CRM. In his free time he tries to collect tipps and worthy experience in this blog.

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