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I have been asked by one of my clients to draft a social media use policy for employees. My client asked for there to be two sections, one for in office and one for out of office. I am curious to know if anyone has encountered corporate policies for social media (or any other activities) outside of the office, specifically in terms of non-business hours.

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Last Post by InsightsDigital
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Interesting. I wonder why they want that? If the employees are acting as an extension of the company you would think that what goes for the office, goes outside the office as well. Maybe suggest that employees have separate handles (user accounts). One for personal use, and one for work use?

That wouldn't really work for Facebook - but then again... should the company always expect employees on Facebook to follow corporate suit?

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Interesting. I wonder why they want that? If the employees are acting as an extension of the company you would think that what goes for the office, goes outside the office as well. Maybe suggest that employees have separate handles (user accounts). One for personal use, and one for work use?

That wouldn't really work for Facebook - but then again... should the company always expect employees on Facebook to follow corporate suit?

Let's put it this way, the corporate world is getting nuttier and nuttier every day. A few years ago I worked of a major financial institution, one of the oldest in the US. Everyone in the company had to go through sexual harrasment training. During the class the instructor posed the following scenario...

You are on your vacation and you are in a restaurant in your neighborhood which is 50 miles from your office. Unknown to you, one of your male employees is in the bar telling dirty jokes. Unknown to either of you, one of your female employees is also in the bar and she overhears the joke. She spots you and comes over to tell you the your male employee, her co-worker, is telling dirty jokes in the bar and they are offensive to her and she feels this is sexual harrassement. She asks you to go into the bar and reprimand the male employee. (Keep in mind, everyone is off work when this is happening). The question was, are you responsible as their boss to say something to the male employee?

Now everyone in the class figured this is too bizarre of a circumstance and the answer had to be no, you are not responsible. Well, according to the bank not only are you responsible to say something but also to give the employee an official verbal warning the next time everyone was in the office.

So, as you can see from this sad, insane and totally true story, some companies believe that if you work for them then you work for them 24/7/365 and they have the right to dictate your behavior to you.

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Wow - that is pretty extreme. I guess they are just looking to cover their butts in all scenarios. Hence the documentation for out-of-office Social Media use.

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Wow - that is pretty extreme. I guess they are just looking to cover their butts in all scenarios. Hence the documentation for out-of-office Social Media use.

Actually, I thought the whole scenario was beyond reason. I pointed out that all they were doing was making it next to impossible for co-workers to develop any sense of community with one another, thus destroying any chance of the development of the corporate family that you hear from the executives during annual meetings. Then again, I was never a big believer in your company being like your family because it always seemed that the family most companies were modeled after was the Manson Family!

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Just found this ebook on corporate social media policies through Social Media Today. While it is a good platform to build upon (and some small companies may want to use it without adding to it) I still think that the use of social media by employees on their own personal time should be addressed. And by that I mean a clear line must be drawn so that if a company decides that they require employees to provide links to personal social media accounts to ensure that corporate info is not being discussed or if the company decides that they will trust their employees to do what is right but if they do not and are caught there may be consequences. Either way, it needs to be spelled out so that there are no difficulties in the future. At least that is my humble opinion and I am open to debate or discussion.

http://www.slideshare.net/davefleet/social-media-policies-ebook

Edited by MktgRob: added link

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As companies are realizing that their employees are indeed spending time on social media, both at work, and off work, creating corporate social media policy is actually a good idea. It greats a foundation for at least some form of structure. Nowadays, when colleagues meet someone at a professional setting, instead of saying, "Let me Linked her up... it is now.. Let me Facebook her". So even this shift on the type of social media communities necessitates a form of policy, especially if done during work hours.

Edited by InsightsDigital: typo

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