Why Every Business Needs a Social Media Policy (SMP1)

Mashable's article,"Why banning social media often backfires" by Greg Ferenstein, Greg describes how IT security experts are finding that restricting Internet access can have the unintended consequences of civic backlash, poor worker productivity, and students unprepared for cyber threats.In the same article, he quotes Ontario Privacy Commissioner Anna Cavoukian noted that “Employees tend to re-route around a blog, go to another server, and find other ingenious ways of doing what they want to. And these rerouting efforts may actually be even more time consuming.” In fact, in another Mashables article, Sharlyn Lauby(2009) uses the term “Dooced” which is an Internet  expression that means to lose one’s job because of things one says online in her guide to social media policy. 

The first case in NZ Employment Courts involving social media which was heard earlier this year, focused around employee infighting on facebook which had occurred largely outside of work hours. Demonstrating that regardless of weather a business adopts for banning of internal use of social media or not, businesses today can not get away from social media. Their employees are using it, in most markets their customers are using it and now, you are require to use them in order to fulfil the requirements for compliance. With igovt launched a several weeks ago, since in order to contact public departments such as IRD, businesses and individuals alike, will now be required to register a profile on the Government's network. 

Realistically, any organisation whom is wanting to participate in the social media revolution, needs to recognise that in order to have the ability to get their brand out there requires them to accept and embrace the decentralisation of their business communications. As a result of this in part, the implementation of a social media policy is becoming increasingly common within businesses internationally (Dybwad, 2010).

The are many examples of the innovative implementation and adoption of Social Media technologies within the large multinationals, with models provided by companies the likes of Kodak and Unilevyer adopting SNSs and engaging and encouraging their employees to actively utilise these to build their brand.However, for the most part, particularly here in New Zealand, many whom have adopted these considerations, are trying to minimise damages to their brand through the use of SNSs, or otherwise adopting a marketing focus.

By Jess Maher, assistNZ Ltd


    Dybwad (2010) Five Social Media Trends to follow, Mashables article, Retrieved fromhttp://mashable.com/2010/07/05/5-social-media-trends/

    Ferenstein, G (2010) "Why banning social media often backfires"

    Lauby, S (2009) Social Media Policy Musts, Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2009/06/02/social-media-policy-musts/

    MacDonald, N (2010) Twitter at work: The good, the badThe Dominion Post, Retrieved from http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/3856723/Twitter-at-work-Good-and-bad