Social Networking Sample Policy

Sample social networking policy

Organizations may not know exactly how to manage social networking sites from a policy
perspective. While organizations cannot control what its associates do on these sites,
authoritative policies can be drafted to establish protocol for appropriate and inappropriate
behaviors as it relates to the workplace. The following is a  sample policy that you can use and customize to protect your organization’s interests. 

Social Networking Policy

This social networking policy applies to all associates, contractors, business partners or other
parties with a material interest in [Acme, Inc.] (collectively referred to as the associates). This
policy is approved by Human Resources and the executive steering committee. 
State of social media, Social media, professional networking sites, rapid-fire communications, blog sites, and personal
Web sites are all useful technologies; [Acme, Inc.] realizes this fact. Every associate has an
opportunity to express and communicate online in many ways, and [Your Company] encourages an
online presence. Above all else, everyone needs to use good judgment on what material makes
its way online. 

This policy will set forth guidelines that employees should follow for all online communications in
reference to [Your Company].
Relevant technologies
This policy includes (but is not limited to) the following specific technologies:
  Personal blogs 
  Personal Web sites

Any material presented online in reference to [Your Company] by any associate is the responsibility
of the poster. We encourage all communication to be made in an identifying manner, to
establish credibility above all else. Along with clear identification, associates must state that any
opinion is yours individually and not a form of official communication from [Your Company].

Topic matter guidelines
[Your Company] associates are encouraged to use the following guidelines in social networking
  Be relevant to your area of expertise.
  Do not be anonymous.
  Maintain professionalism, honesty, and respect.
  Apply a \"good judgment\" test for every activity related to [Acme, Inc.]: Could you be guilty of
leaking information, trade secrets, customer data, or upcoming announcements? Is it
negative commentary regarding [Your Company]? 

Activity showing good judgment would include statements of fact about [Your Company] and its
products and services, facts about already-public information, or information on the [Your Company]
Web site.

Further, if any associate becomes aware of social networking activity that would be deemed
distasteful or fail the good judgment test, please contact the anonymous social media response
center at: socialresponse@[Your Company].com. 

Company assets
The use of company assets (computers, Internet access, email, etc.) is intended for purposes
relevant to the responsibilities assigned to each associate. Social networking sites are not
deemed a requirement for most positions, and certain job titles are not permitted to access
these services over the Internet. For associates that are allowed to access these services, a
reasonable and limited amount of use of company assets are permitted for social networking

Inaccurate or defamatory content
Associates who participate in online communication deemed not to be in the best interest of
[Your Company] will be subject to disciplinary action. This online communication can include but is
not limited to:
  Company information or data leakage.
  Inaccurate, distasteful, or defamatory commentary about the company.

Disciplinary action can include termination or other intervention deemed appropriate by Human

Off-Limits material
This policy sets forth the following items which are deemed off-limits for social networking:
Intellectual property, trade secrets, or customer data
[Your Company] 's intellectual property, trade secrets, and customer data are strictly forbidden from
any online discourse except through mechanisms managed internally by [Your Company]
communications or marketing groups. 

Online recommendations
Some sites, such as LinkedIn, allow members to \"recommend\" current or former co-workers.
[Your Company] forbids associates to participate in employee recommendations for reasons of
company liability. All communication of this type should be referred to Human Resources for

Financial information
Any online communication regarding the company's financial data is strictly forbidden except
through mechanisms managed internally by [Your Company] communications or marketing groups.

Company-sensitive matters
Any online communication regarding proprietary information such as layoffs, strategic decisions,
or other announcements deemed inappropriate for uncoordinated public exchange is forbidden.