OLJ Task 6

Social networking and information policy

Social media/networking policies for organisations

Based on the above advice regarding the development of social media policies in organisations, identify 5 key points which you would use to advise a Social Media Policy Working Party regarding the development of a policy for organisation with regard to either (a) clients or customers’ use of social media while using your computers/network access or your organisation’s social networking sites, or (b) employees use of Web 2.0 tools and spaces for work and personal use while using your organisations’ computers/network and time.

Post a 350 word summary of your advise to your learning journal.


A social media policy is a ‘strategic document’ (Zimmer, n.d.) for organisations using and participating on social media platforms. A social media policy sets the parameters for staff and provides guidelines to follow for best practice. In writing a social media policy it is important that ‘thought and attention’ (Zimmer, n.d.) is given.  Collaboration between staff allows a discussion of a variety of concerns and experience in creating a social media policy suited to the culture of the organisation (Zimmer, n.d.).

Items to include in a social media policy:

Scope (National library of Australia, 2012) (State library of NSW, 2012)

  • who does the policy apply to (Lauby, 2009)
  • what platforms will be used (National library of Australia, 2012)
  • how will social media be used (Fischer & Fimiani, n.d.)
  • awareness of emerging issues and changes

Professional and personal use (Fischer & Fimiani, n.d.) (Lauby, 2009).

  • Acceptable content guidelines ensuring neutral, polite, professional and accurate content (Zimmer, n.d.)(Lauby, 2009)
  • Prohibited content includes ‘political views, propriety information, contentious issues’ (Zimmer, n.d.)
  • Awareness that content posted will be monitored to screen content and ensure ‘company policies on anti-harrassment, ethics and company loyalty extend to all communications’ including social media (Meyer, as cited by Lauby, 2009)
  • Training to support staff (Lauby, 2009)
  • Goal setting and productivity (Lauby, 2009)

Responsibility and accessibility (Fischer & Fimiani, n.d.) (Zimmer, n.d.)

  • Staff responsibility for content and which staff will be allowed access to the social media sites (Lauby, 2009)
  • Disclosure, or the necessity of identifying oneself as an employee when discussing organisational information (Lauby, 2009)
  • Standards, including timeliness for responding to comments (Lauby, 2009)
  • Honesty and accuracy, if something posted is incorrect it must be removed and retraction posted (Lauby, 2009)
  • Instructions for responding to ‘negative comments, ‘personal attacks’ or ‘spam’ (Lauby, 2009)

Legal Considerations (National library of Australia, 2012)

  • Confidentiality – information classified confidential (Lauby, 2009)
  • Privacy issues
  • Content used for organisational purposes will be publicly available and requires transparency (Zimmer, n.d.) (Lauby, 2009)
  • Security issues – the need for password changes when staff leave the organisation (Lauby, 2009)
  • Ownership of material – who owns the material posted on behalf of the organisation needs to be outlined in the policy
  • Copyright issues – how to avoid copyright infringement (Lauby, 2009).

Breaches of policy guidelines (National library of Australia, 2012)

  • What constitutes inappropriate content or behaviour and consequences (Lauby, 2009)


Fischer, B. & Fimiani, J. (n.d.) Welcome to the new media world. Oxiem marketing technology.

Lauby, S. (2009). 10 Must-Haves for your social media policy, Mashable, 6 February, [blog] Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2009/06/02/social-media-policy-musts/

Lauby, S. (2009). Should your company have a social media policy? Mashable, 27 April [blog] Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2009/04/27/social-media-policy/

National Library of Australia: Social media policy. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.nla.gov.au/policy-and-planning/social-media

State Library of New South Wales: Social Media Policy. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/about/policies/docs/social_media_policy_v1.0_2012-10-24.pdf

Zimmer, L. (n.d.) (President MarCom: Interactive). Social media policies: why and how. Capio http://www.slideshare.com/znetlady



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