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Your Company Social Media Policy Part 1

Social media has revolutionized the way people communicate online. Social media is where discussions are had and information is shared. Over the past few years, the world has seen a remarkable shift in the way people socialize and it is not going away.

It's not whether you use social media, it's how you use it.

Every second, one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube (More video is uploaded to YouTube each month than the 3 major US television networks were able to create over 60 years). Facebook is rapidly nearing 1 billion active users (1 out of 7 of all humans aren't just on Facebook, but are on it regularly). Each day on Twitter, the world writes a 10 million-page book of tweets.

Social media isn't just about people - it's about the things in our lives, the businesses we deal with, the organizations we work for, and virtually every aspect to our daily lives. We take social media to work with us, it follows us to the store, and it's there every time we go out to eat.

Ignoring social media is one of the worst possible things a business can do.

Businesses should not only leverage social media for their marketing, but need to acknowledge that the majority of their employees use multiple forms of social media. It's important for businesses to establish a social media policy.

There are two basic ways to approach the creation of your social media policy:

  1. Establish a clear, precise set of rules on how to conduct communication across social networks.
  2. Organically grow your social media policy while experimenting with the various opportunities your company can leverage and react to situations as they arise.

Both methods are completely viable; the first sets up the rules employees are to follow while the second drives innovation but offers potential risk. Regardless, you'll need to define some basic principles for your company social media policy.

How does your business handle social media? How 'official' is your policy on social media? Let us know in the comments!

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Joshua Van Berkum is passionate about embracing the positive change that technology brings to small businesses. Having been in the "technology trenches" for years, as well as owning his own business for 15 years, Joshua is equipped with the patience and know-how that it takes to make technology decisions carefully and implement proper plans quickly. Still learning and always adapting, Joshua is continually striving to grow his customers' businesses through innovation, while ensuring his client's return on their technology investment.

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Guest Wednesday, 20 August 2014