5 Secrets A CIO Needs To Know In Order To Create A Social Media Plan

CIOs need to know how to find social media secrets
CIOs need to know how to find social media secrets

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Darn that social media stuff! Just when you thought that the job of being a CIO couldn’t get any tougher, along comes this whole new way for the world to communicate. The arrival of social media has just boosted the importance of information technology. What makes things even tougher is that the rest of the company is waiting for you to tell them what the rules for using social media at work is…

Let’s Have A Policy Party

Hopefully by now you realize that as part of your CIO job you need to be responsible for creating a social media policy for your company. This policy needs to provide direction to everyone in the company to let them know what is and what is not permitted when they use social media on the job.

Just creating a policy is not enough. You are going to have to go one step further. You need to make sure that everyone knows that the company has a policy and just what is contained in that policy. This means that you need to get the word out and you need to collect some indication from each employee that shows that they’ve read the policy.

What 5 Rules Need To Be A Part Of Your Social Media Policy?

Now that you know that you need a social media policy, here comes the really big question. What needs to go into this policy? Depending on the industry that your company is a part of, you may already have a number of regulations about what your employees can and cannot say publically (healthcare and financial firms know all about this). However, here are 5 rules that need to be a part of every CIO’s social media policy:

  1. Record Keeping: Hopefully this is a no-brainer. Every interaction with a social media site needs to be recorded just in case there is an issue down the road.

  2. Suitability: Your employees are going to have to be very careful when it comes to making recommendations via social media. The rules say that they can’t make any recommendations via social media that they wouldn’t make using the more traditional forms of communication.

  3. What Needs To Be Approved?: The answer to this question is the key to your firm’s social media participation. The right answer is that any static social media material such as profiles needs to be approved. However, the day-to-day dynamic interaction does not need to be approved.

  4. Supervision: There always needs to be a lifeguard on duty. All of your company’s social media interactions need to be supervised. The goal of this supervision should not be to crush creativity, but rather to make sure that the posters stay within the company’s social media guidelines.

  5. Be Aware Of 3rd Party Posts: It turns out that you are not responsible for any 3rd party posts that show up on your corporate sites that permit such postings. However, you do need to be aware of what is being placed there just in case you find yourself being asked how something came to be on your site.

What All Of This Means For You

The CIO position is challenging enough without having to worry about the brave new world of social media. However, social media has arrived and that means that the rest of the company needs you to step up and tell them what the new rules are.

The correct thing to do is to create a company-wide policy that will let every employee know what the rules are when it comes to interacting with the outside world via social media. This social media policy needs to include rules that describe such things as record keeping, suitability, approvals, supervision, and how you want to handle 3rd party posts.

CIOs need to understand that social media does not appear to be going away – it’s here to stay. This means that the CIO is on the front lines of helping his or her company prepare to make the most of this new tool while preventing it from harming itself. This isn’t going to be easy, but get the right social media policy in place and you’ll be ahead of the curve…

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: What do you think would be the best way to make sure that every employee has read and understands the company’s social media policy?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Have you heard about the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) craze that is sweeping companies worldwide? Employees have invested so much money along with time and effort into customizing their smartphones, tablets, etc. that they want to bring them to work and use them to do work. This is opening the door to a whole new world of problems for the person who has the CIO job…