Questions about how far companies should take formalization of social media policies have been discussed in marketing and social networking circles lately. Often, the answer returned is, “It depends on the company.”
To add context to the conversation, let’s consider a hypothetical example from a made-up company:
CoolCo is a mid-sized consumer electronics company. In addition to its marketing strategy, which includes customer communities and social media, several CoolCo employees maintain their own blogs and have a significant presence on social networking sites, where they identify themselves as CoolCo employees.
While CoolCo’s managers recognize the upside to leveraging these communities for brand pervasiveness, they also have a number of concerns about potential adverse impact of these media, from the employee who communicates information in a manner that is off-message to inappropriate or inaccurate comments.
CoolCo’s decision: to embrace social media and formalize an education program for its employees around the legalities and etiquette around use of public domain as well as corporate messaging and product training.