Since the use of social media and or Web 2.0 (we really need a better lexicon here) is so new, some organizations might not yet have standard operating procedures developed regarding either implementation or overall strategy. Some of those procedures may include: workflow, managing comments, managing content, statements of purpose, measures of success/metrics, or even which new media to engage in.
However, if you are responsible for implementing new media and not sure where to start, I recommend the blog Social Media Governance which has put together a wonderful database of social or new media policies (currently 154 total). The list includes government/non-profit policies from the American Red Cross to Walker Art Center; but the list also includes policies from businesses, the healthcare industry, as well general guidelines and templates. You can search for a policy related to your industry with the handy pull-down menu. [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=twitter+image&iid=5243202″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5243202/microblogging-site-twitter/microblogging-site-twitter.jpg?size=500&imageId=5243202″ width=”380″ height=”242″ /]
There are even policies from international agencies, for example there is a handy Social Media 101 guide from Australia. And although some of the information would not apply in the U.S. (e.g. government codes of conduct) there are a number of helpful tips that are universal.
The General Service Administration’s Social Media Handbook can also be found there and is quite useful, however, local governments might find information from “The County of Orange, California” more applicable.
Most policies will deal with pushing information, if you know of any organization that has policies regarding receiving info from the public through social media, please let me know.
I also want to highlight the recent GAO Report: Challenges in Federal Agencies’ Use of Web 2.0 Technologies, July 22, 2010. The report summary:
Federal agencies are using Web 2.0 technologies to enhance services and support their individual missions. Federal Web managers use these applications to connect to people in new ways. As of July 2010, we identified that 22 of 24 major federal agencies had a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
They then list the challenges federal agencies have faced regarding use of Web 2.0 technologies:
Privacy and security:
Agencies are faced with the challenges of determining how the Privacy Act of 1974, which provides certain protections to personally identifiable information, applies to information exchanged in the use of Web 2.0 technologies, such as social networking sites. …
Records management and freedom of information.
Web 2.0 technologies raise issues in the government’s ability to identify and preserve federal records.
The use of Web 2.0 technologies can also present challenges in appropriately responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests because there are significant complexities in determining whether agencies control Web 2.0-generated content, as understood within the context of FOIA.
Federal agencies have begun to identify some of the issues associated with Web 2.0 technologies and have taken steps to start addressing them. For example, the Office of Management and Budget recently issued guidance intended to (1) clarify when and how the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 applies to federal agency use of social media and Web-based interactive technologies; and (2) help federal agencies protect privacy when using third- party Web sites and applications.
Of course this was written for the federal government, however, some of the information is probably applicable to states and localities.
- Study Clarifies Government’s Social Media Record Requirements (informationweek.com)
- SocialMedia & Government – The Open Government Project Potential (dailybloggr.com)
- Social Media Governance for the Enterprise (seamlessenterprise.com)