Social media Toolkit
This document is a series of checklists to help companies, their employees, and their agencies create social media policies.
Our goal is not to create or propose new industry standards or rules. These checklists are open-source training tools designed to help educate employees on the appropriate ways to interact with the social media community and comply with the law.
When we first released the Toolkit in July 2008, many members of the social media community saw these issues as a matter of opinion or intellectual debate. With the FTC’s October 2010 release of the, it’s clear that proper social media ethics are a matter of law, not personal preference.
SocialMedia.org’s Three Guides for Safe Social Media Outreach summarizes the fundamental obligations required for marketers to stay safe:
- Require disclosure and truthfulness in social media outreach.
- Monitor the conversation and correct misstatements.
- Create social media policies and training programs.
The FTC has also made it clear that the best way to protect your company from legal trouble is by establishing formal disclosure policies for your staff, agencies, and subcontractors.
- The Toolkit is a series of checklists to help you create a social media policy for your company.
- Use the checklists to make sure you are covering all the key requirements and risk factors.
- Discuss these issues with every department involved in social media: marketing, communications, legal, HR, sales, customer service, etc.
- Create a social media policy in the form that best fits your organization’s specific needs and operations. The format isn’t important. It can be a stand-alone policy or it can be integrated into existing policies.
- Create a training program to share the results with your entire company.
- Share your policies with your agencies, consultants, and contractors and insist that they meet or exceed your standards.
The Toolkit is not a policy or ethics code. SocialMedia.org is not an association, standards, or enforcement organization.
What is the purpose of these guidelines?
- Create a training tool
- Set a baseline of best practices
- Educate companies that are creating a social media policy for the first time
- Simplify a complicated topic
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