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Back to basics, part 4: Understanding compliance

We continue our back to basics segment with a final installment on social media compliance. Regardless of whether you or your business has a social media policy, it's crucial that you create and implement a strategy in regulating the use of social media and how your organization is being seen by the online world. Here are some useful tips:

Rules of engagement

  • Be judicious: Know and follow your organization's code of conduct and privacy policy.
  • Be transparent: Represent and identify your company truthfully.
  • Responsibility: Know your role and stick to your area of expertise - don't overstep your bounds.
  • Be a leader: Don't denigrate competitors, let alone your organization.

Contractors and endorsements

  • Give and take credit where credit is due.
  • Respect proprietary information, content and confidentiality.
  • Clarify who owns what.

Moderation guidelines

  • Reviewing and approving content: It is unnecessary to have each and every piece of content reviewed, but it is recommended that organizations implement a monthly review process.
  • Identify and define what your company's purpose, scope and focus of information is.
  • Exercise good judgment.

Other helpful tips include:

  • Implement a social media accreditation process for your employees to complete before participating in your organization's social media practices.
  • Create a social media best practices guide to break down the creation and maintenance of blogs, podcasts, discussion forums, Wikis, RSS feeds, video sharing and social networking platforms.
  • Use common sense! Don't comment on legal matters, crisis situations or any other topics that could possibly be viewed in a negative light.

Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips:

Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and President of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website at and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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