Rules of Engagement for Social Media

I spotted this a few weeks ago but forgot to post about it – fortunately a conversation at work today reminded me!

The rise of social media and its use in both our social and professional lives has caused some organisations a headache over the past few years.  Many have found it difficult to know how to react to this new form of media.  Should they allow its use at work?  Should they block it?  What if someone talks about the company or it work online?  To be fair, they’re not always easy questions to answer.

More enlightened companies will embrace this part of the internet – after all it’s not going to just disappear – and put in place guidelines or rules to help protect the company and it’s employees. 

There are a few good examples of these sorts of policy around, one of the best can be found over at Edelman.  A few weeks ago however I stumbled across this from the US Air Force


Personally I think this is a good, pragmatic approach to take.  It recognises the various characters you’ll find online and provides some sensible guidance for how to evaluate the conversation and whether to respond.

Having read a bit further it turns out that the USAF has some pretty lofty ambitions for its online presence, in effect preparing every airman to be an online communicator.  Someone who can support and promote the USAF online.  I think you’d be hard pressed to find many other organisations which actively encourage their employees to promote the company ‘brand’ online.  It’s a refreshing approach.

USAF on Twitter
Air Force Live blog
YouTube Channel

Hat tip to David Meerman Scott who has some good info on the subject (I can’t’ remember who’s tweet pointed me at his site though – sorry!)

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