Smart companies have realized that they need to manage this wide-ranging use of social through a formal social policy. Really smart organizations are realizing that they need to update those policies and soon.
Social is no longer a business upstart. In fact, it's less and less a "thing" and more and more a capability that's just expected in any new enterprise tool or business strategy. But it's the wide-ranging applications of social, along with the fact that many activities are conducted on public -- and ever-changing -- networks that demands a careful examination of existing policy to determine if updates need to be made.
[ Want more on how to help employees become socially adept? Read 10 Ways To Foster Effective Social Employees. ]
"Social media is evolving at such a rapid pace that companies simply have to make time to review their social media policies on a recurring basis," said Jeremy Goldman, author of the book, Going Social: Excite Customers, Generate Buzz and Energize Your Brand with the Power of Social Media. "I recommend that companies do so on a quarterly basis, and that they block out time ahead of time in order to ensure this happens."
Goldman recommends that policy administrators have the following information in hand before reviewing and updating social media policy:
-- Usage habits. Are employees starting to use social platforms more from mobile devices than from desktop browsers? If mobile devices are too difficult to monitor, the policy can encourage social media usage in browsers instead of via mobile.
-- New platforms. Is your company using new social networks? For example, Vine probably didn't exist when your policy was originally developed. Policy will need to take newer platforms into account.
-- Changes in social networks' policies or features. Have any of the public social networks your company frequents changed privacy or security policies in a way that should be reflected in your company policy? Have any public or internally used social tools added new features you should address?
-- Work applications. What are the reasons your employees should be using some or all of these social platforms? Do certain job functions require using Facebook during the day? Are there users in your organization who don't need access at all, or perhaps only during certain periods of time?