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Five simple guidelines for social engagement

iStock_000010779625XSmall.jpgI have talked about the importance of developing and implementing social media policies within organizations previously on this blog. These policies not only protect the company, but go a long way to educating its employees on what the implications and ramifications are of engaging in social channels.

I've seen a number of instances where seemingly harmless information is posted on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and that person was not aware of the connectivity of the medium. Soon, people find out what they said and share it. In an age when the "delete" button means nothing (everything is stored forever in most cases even if you do delete) it's crucial to have informed employees.

In college, I had a professor who suggested that when making a tough decision that we look in the mirror and see if we believe what we're saying. Here are the five guidelines that I think are the core of social engagement when you are working within a company. They are my mirror test.

Five guidelines/questions before posting:


  1. Assume your Mom reads/sees everything that you post
  2. Assume your boss reads/sees everything that you post
  3. Assume your biggest client reads/sees everything that you post
  4. Assume your biggest competitor reads/sees everything that you post
  5. Assume your children will read/see everything that you post

I run through these filters myself when I post things as a final checklist. If something doesn't pass, then it's out the window.

What guidelines would you add to the list? How do you make content decisions?

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