August 27, 2010

5 Examples of Great Social Media Policies in Action

As social media continues to become a critical part of organizations, many are starting to develop policies to govern it. A social media policy outlines for employees the corporate guidelines or principles of communicating in the online world with a clear set of guidelines, roles and responsibilities. Here are 5 great examples of social media policies in action.

Best Buy

Best Buy has a fairly simple social media policy. Their main objective is for employees to be smart, be respectful, and be human. Best Buy urges employees to disclose their affiliation to the company, state that it’s their opinion whenever they post, act responsibly and ethically, and never disclose personal, legal, or confidential information.


Coca-Cola’s social media policy focuses on three main sections: Coca-Cola’s five core values, expectations for personal conduct online, and expectations for online spokespeople.

Coca-Cola’s five core values include:

  • Transparency in every social media engagement
  • Protection of consumers’ privacy
  • Respect of copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity, and other third party rights
  • Responsibility in use of technology
  • Utilization of best practices

The expectations for personal conduct include:

  • Be a “scout” for criticism and compliments
  • Let the subject matter experts respond to negative posts
  • Be conscious when mixing your business and personal life

The expectations for online spokespeople include:

  • Be certified in the Social Media Certification Program
  • Be mindful that you’re representing the company
  • Fully disclose your affiliation with the company
  • Be responsible to your work
  • Remember that your local posts can have global significance
  • Know that the internet is permanent


Intel’s social media policy focuses on what employees should be aware of when engaging with consumers online as well as rules of engagement and guidelines for moderation. The main focus on engaging with customers is to stick to your area of expertise, post meaningful, respectful comments, think before posting, and respect proprietary information. There is also a list of rules of engagement which includes being transparent, being judicious, creating excitement, adding value, and being a leader. The last part of their policy covers the moderation guideline which includes pre-moderation, community moderation, and balanced online dialogue.


IBM’s social media policy follows their business conduct guidelines. These guidelines include employees being personally responsible for the content they publish, identifying themselves whenever discussing IBM or IBM-related matters, respecting copyright, fair use, and financial disclosure laws, and respecting their audience.


Kodak has a very strong social media policy. Not only do they have guidelines for employees, but they also have information about the social media landscape, myths about social media, social media tips and information from the industry, how to get started using social media, and Kodak’s tactics in social media.

Some of Kodak’s guidelines for employees include:

  • Live the Kodak values
  • Be yourself—and be transparent
  • Protect confidential information and relationships
  • Speak the truth
  • Keep your cool
  • Stay timely
  • Heed security warnings and pop-ups
  • Be careful with your personal information
  • Don’t be fooled
  • Disable dangerous privileges

Tags: Best Practices, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

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