The State Departments Social Media Usage Policy

Need something interesting to
read? The United States Department of State publicly released its Social Media Usage policy today and it is
worth taking time to check out as it will provide insights for other
organizations looking to understand what needs to be in their policies.

While there are dozens of great details in the document here are a few highlights:

  • The document speaks to the fact that these guidelines apply to both internal and external social media usage. Understanding and then
    addressing this fact is important as these tools offer real value across
    the entire organization.
  • Up front the document makes it clear that other policies are still in effect. For example, your usage policies should note that items
    covered in employee handbooks still apply.
  • Definitions and terms are defined at the beginning of the document. Make this clear up front so that there is no room for confusion.
  • The document does an excellent job noting the different guidelines for internal and external networks, for personal and professional
    accounts. Great job including items like this: “Department
    personnel may access and post entries to public, Internet-based social
    media sites, from OpenNet using their personal profile registered with a
    personal email address…”

The document also covers important topics such as monitoring, archiving, and when you need to get approval to post. While I
will create a template as part of The
Social Ecosystem
effort this comprehensive document would make a
great starting point.


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