Wednesday, September 25, 2013

post #2 - Social Media Policies

Just some thoughts while reading....
I am a social media advocate, I believe in using social media as the voice of your organization, and appropriately using it to communicate with your organization's audience. Before taking this course I never thought twice about a social media policy, and probably didn't even recognize the importance or significance of such policies. As I was reading and researching social media policies this week, I realized that I may be a little more conservative when it comes to social media than I thought. I no longer felt this strong advocacy for open social media and communication, but realized that there are so many lines that cannot be crossed, that must be very well defined.
In the reading by Kaganer and Vaast, I really did not feel that their ideas could translate across all organizations. While I do agree that organizations should focus their policies less on mitigating risks that could threaten the company's image and focus more on using social media to build their image, I'm torn between how much of that risk mitigation can be compromised or left out. For example, I chose to look at the NYC Department of Education's policy and I think with an organization that deals with children and staff interactions, those "dangers" and "risks" must be clearly identified. Kaganer and Vaast argue that policies should give less attention to what not to do and instead outline what to  do on these social media sites. And again, while I do agree that this is a good point, I just can't help but think, "what if" a staff member thinks that some inappropriate behavior is o.k. because it isn't outlined in the policy? Then what?
So my overarching question to myself this week was, how do you clean up the policies to focus less on the challenges and dangers of social media to allow room for what can and should be shared and said? Where is the balance and how does that differ across organizations?

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