Steve Grossman


Information in the information age

Guidelines + Social Web = Corporate Success

Our company’s moving out onto the Social Web so I developed the following document to define our mission and establish guidelines. All reference to my company has been made generic for this example.

How did I do?

Online Networking, Blogging and Interactive Strategy and Guidelines


For quite sometime, our employees have been actively involved in the “social web” – a loosely knit collection of websites and online tools that allow 1-to-1 or 1-to-many communication and dialog. Though this activity has been personal in nature, it is not surprising to find that work and life at work has been discussed as well.

During this same period, there has been increasing corporate involvement on the web too. In addition to shifting advertising online, companies have begun to embrace the social web as a means to get closer to customers. GM and Comcast are two examples of companies that use a blog and twitter respectively to interact with customers everyday.

Because of the growth of the social web, the fact that we have employees engaged already, and our desire to grow our business, we’ve decided to get involved too. If we are to do this correctly, however, we feel it important to define our social web strategy and offer guidelines for success.

Our Social Web Mission:

Just like a company has a mission for products and services, we must have a mission for our online activities too. Whether you’re involved in an official capacity or not, please make sure that any departmental related online activity supports the following Social Web Mission without exception.

  • Feedback – our primary purpose online is to get feedback on what we’re doing. The Social Web functions best as a dialog and there is no better way for us to understand the needs of our customers – internal and external – than to interact with them 1-on-1. Seek feedback on what we’re doing and graciously accept whatever they may say.
  • Information – proactive communication about our beliefs, passions and expertise. Having a presence online affords us the opportunity to share information that will advance not only our plans, but the growth and success of our customers.
  • Subject Matter Leadership – an opportunity to direct the conversations about our industry

Guidelines for the Social Web

1. Sites:

  • • Corporate: we will establish official presence on a number of popular sites. If you wish to be involved, please talk to your manager.
  • • Personal: You are free to establish your presence anywhere you like as long as any and all work and business related information follows the rest of these guidelines.

2. Personal Responsibility: when writing/contributing work and business related information, be yourself. Use your actual name or identification that can be linked to who you are as an employee and take full responsibility for your contribution. In accordance with the Employee Handbook, please note that you will be held responsible for your contributions. We consider representing our company on the social web as an extension of our business.

3. Tone: be personal, authentic and fun – just like we are in our day-to-day work.

4. Copyrights and Fair use: respect all content related laws and give credit where credit’s due.

5. Proprietary Information: do not share any company or departmental secrets. This includes the use of client or client employee names without express permission. Everything online is searchable and permanent so when in doubt, leave it out.

6. Bring value: add to the conversations by seeking to serve our customers – inside and out – by responding appropriately and/or bringing them useful information.

7. Go beyond our business: at its core, the social web is entertainment first, business second. We will make a bad impression if all we do is tout our business. Information about things outside of our industry and business will be read and appreciated by your readers and give us a better foundation from which to accomplish our mission.


We wish to support you in your online activities while ensuring the long term success of our organization. We’re hopeful that these guidelines will help. If you’re already involved, or get involved later, be sure to link up with our sites on the social web.


Filed under: Social_media, Trends

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