Changing policies on social media? Tread cautiously

Be upfront with your employees, whether you’re tweaking or overhauling.

Be upfront with your employees, whether you’re tweaking or overhauling

If you’re planning to change your company’s social media policies, don’t follow Facebook’s example.

When the folks at Facebook redesign the social networking site or change its terms of service, they do so in a casual way that for some has a “gotcha” feel. Pretty soon, angry users start anti-Facebook clubs on Facebook (because that makes sense) or take to other sites to moan about the Facebook changes.  

At some point, your company might want to revise its own social media policies. How can you make sure you avoid a Facebook folly?

Open, transparent communication is crucial, experts say. Get your message out there, and explain what’s happening.

Andrew Gent, a management consultant, says how you deliver the message depends on your company’s culture. “To be proactive, contact the people who are using the system,” he says. “You can notify people via e-mail. You can put messages on the Web site or send out management memos.”

A stroll down D Street

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