7 step social media policy plan

Social media policies are essential in our Internet connected society. All businesses, schools, agencies, governments, clubs, and organizations need a social media policy to protect their brand, reputation, and money.

Creating a social media policy does not need to be expensive nor time consuming, however it is a legal document so you should have a licensed attorney knowledgeable in the latest social media legal developments guide you. Social media policies must be well planned and carefully worded. Demanding too much in a social media policy can violate rights of those subject to it and could itself invite lawsuits.

Ninomiya Law, PLLC focuses on social media law. We developed the 7 Step Social Media Legal Strategy below to cover the entire process. Keep in mind that all social media legal strategies must be scaled and customized to the particular size and needs of the client. This process can be extremely simple or highly involved. If you would like us to set one up for you, we have reasonable service plans for clients of all sizes. Just click on the boxes to the right for more information. 

  1. Plan: Identify your specific goals and risks for social media. Consider every aspect of your entity including crisis management, advertising, sales, customer service, employees/members, product development, expansion, and branding.
  2. Policy: Establish the rules you want your people to follow on social media keeping in mind what the law, regulations, and other authorities allow. Include employees/members as partners in the social media process. Empowering them in controlled ways will help you achieve your objectives.
  3. Handbook: Memorialize your policy in a written document that is shared with those subject to it. This establishes your due diligence. It is important to guard against creating a document that is itself illegal.
  4. Training: Provide notice to those subject to the policy, instruct them on social media expectations, and gather feedback. Training your people points them in the right direction with regard to your business/organization and is also an opportunity to learn from their collective social media experience.
  5. Acknowledgement: Gather signed documents from those subject to the policy acknowledging their understanding and acceptance. This makes enforcement of the policy must simpler if there is a violation. Again, it is important to guard against making the acknowledgment illegal.
  6. Monitoring: Set up a mechanism for keeping an eye on what is said about you on social media so you may enforce your policy and act proactively. Every employee, member, customer and client can help you monitor your brand if you establish a process. Responding to customer feedback is an excellent way to engage your client base.
  7. Adapt: Revisit these steps periodically to see if new developments require adjustments. Social media is a fast evolving medium and it is essential to keep up.​

If you are tempted to find a generic social media policy and the Internet and adopt it as your own, be warned that it would be a bad idea for several reasons:

  • Instead of protecting you from legal problems, a do-it-yourself social media policy that doesn’t address your unique needs could create new legal problems that you didn’t have before.
  • Varying business models, employees, and industries require different approaches. What works for one could expose you to legal problems in another.
  • Different industries are subject to different regulatory schemes that impact social media. A lawful social media policy in one industry can be unlawful in another.
  • Much of what you find on the Internet is outdated forms that do not consider new laws, regulations, and case precedent.
  • Laws impacting social media can vary significantly between jurisdictions
  • What works in the real world does not always work on social media. Your social media policy must specifically address social media.
  • If a lawyer creates your social media policy, they are responsible for their legal advice. If you do it by yourself, you are legally responsible for anything you miss legally.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

keeping you and your family safe

All information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Ninomiya Law, PLLC and Kent Ninomiya only provide legal advice to clients when there is a valid engagement agreement signed by both attorney and clients. The principal office of Ninomiya Law, PLLC is located in Round Rock, Texas. Ninomiya Law, PLLC is responsible for the content of this website.