Governance isn’t one of the sexiest areas of social media marketing. But, it’s a damn important one.
And, after the year we all just had, if you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to revisit your social media community guidelines.
You know, that document you post to your social pages (or link to on your web site) that outlines what your fans, customers, partners, vendors and employees can and cannot do on your social media pages.
These guidelines have taken on increasing importance over the last 15 months for a few big reasons:
- I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the country is fairly divided at the moment. And EVERYTHING seems to be political. Many brands have been in the middle of this over the last year–and in many cases, it hasn’t been pretty.
- I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but our country has some big racial issues to work on. In our communities. In our schools. And, in the companies we work for. A lot of that has come out on social media over the last 12 months since George Floyd was murdered.
- I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but people are really angry on social media. Just spend 5 minutes on Twitter and you’ll catch my drift. And people are just looking for reasons to take that anger out on brands. It’s almost like brands have a bullseye on their chest sometimes.
So yeah, social media community guidelines. They can and should address all of the above.
They give you license to delete and hide comments. They allow you to ban users. And, they give you an important guidebook to reference with difficult and unruly folks when things get rough.
And, with so much changing in the last year, you probably need to revisit yours.
As you consider that, I want to share with you some of the guidelines I’ve found useful when researching on my own. These aren’t necessarily “the best”–but I just found them helpful for a variety of reasons.
Medtronic – Super simple, easy to read: https://www.medtronic.com/us-en/about/corporate-governance/social-media-community-guidelines.html?sf97064969=1
Goldman Sachs – the “Be kind and courteous” section covers a lot of ground: https://www.goldmansachs.com/terms-of-use/social-media-community-guidelines/
Johnson & Johnson – good section on how they deal with legal and regulatory issues: https://www.jnj.com/social-media-community-guidelines
Coca-Cola: love the “House Rules” title! https://www.facebook.com/CocaColaUnitedStates
Wendy’s – Pretty straightforward and to the point, but on brand: https://www.facebook.com/wendys
Starbucks – Fairly basic, but I love this opening: “Come on in. This space is not so different from your neighborhood Starbucks. It’s a place where people from all over come together for conversation and great coffee.” https://www.facebook.com/Starbucks
Adobe – Love how they turned what should have been a negative section into positive one with “Have Fun & Get Inspired” at the bottom: https://www.facebook.com/Adobe
Marriott – Good section addressing employees-something you don’t see in every policy: https://www.facebook.com/Marriott
Microsoft – Simple, clear language. Short. https://www.facebook.com/Microsoft
Macy’s – Leans heavily on Facebook’s Terms of Service: https://www.facebook.com/Macys
And, just a few more I found to be helpful:
Urban Outfitters: https://www.facebook.com/urbanoutfitters