Social Media Policy

 

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Everest CS and Social Media

Why should we care about social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube? Well, it’s really quite simple - because the rest of the world does. Social Media is a new platform for an age-old tradition: sharing. People have been sharing ideas, learning and opinions long before the term 'social media' was coined. Social Media simply re-purposes old furniture; giving us a new place to be comfortable. Instead of chatting around the water-cooler, or BBQing among friends, now there is a virtual backyard. As more and more companies join the “Social Web”, it is important that “netiquette”, i.e. rules of conduct for online communication, be established and followed. We at Everest CS believe strongly in the value of Social Media as a tool for learning and sharing.

Web 2.0 and Personal Development

Social Media is an exponentially growing form of communication. People express themselves privately and business-wise on services such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Today’s Internet experience is about efficient community interaction and information exchange; businesses lose when they don’t engage in that community. Arm yourself with a base knowledge of social media to leverage it as a tool for your personal growth, business, communicating with customers and influencers.

Guidelines 2.0

Social Media development and participation cannot be stopped. While the benefits of Social Media are numerous and growing, we must also be mindful of the perils. Careless handling of online communications, such as e-mails, direct messages, Tweets, micro-blogs, blogs, Wikis or forums can cause long-term harm to a company and an individual as well. Our contributions to Social Media are permanently indexed in digital form by search engines, such as Google and Bing, and made publicly accessible. Having social media guidelines are therefore not only a suggestion, but a necessity.

Everest CS and Social Media

At Everest CS we encourage the use of social media in and out of the classroom, as well as within our organization. Some of the ways we do this include sending out pre-course information and exercises, facilitating online discussions before and after classes, providing in-class information including tools & tips, and conducting surveys. Social media platforms may include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. At Everest CS, social media is used for the purpose of sharing and exchanging ideas, collaborating on best practices and marketing to our clients.

We felt strongly that we should have a social media policy in place. You can't 'talk the talk' if you don't 'walk the walk'. As an advocate for social media, we used Web 2.0 to research policies and combined what we felt reflected our own philosophy to produce our Social Media Policy. Our sources include Social Media Governance, SAP, Unic, and NCGA .

Why we use social media:

  • Listen: We pay attention to trends and thought patterns influencing opinion about what we do on a daily basis. Social media has the ability to deliver an instant view of emerging trends.

  • Access to technical knowledge: Get the information you want, when you want it, from people you trust. Well-built personal learning networks (PLN's) are communities centered on your personal and business interests. They can provide fast and easy access to real-time information you want. Your PLN can include high-level experts and others in similar situations and industries that provide expertise and feedback, usually at no cost to you.

  • Network across the business: At no time in our history have we had the ability to network across industries, professions, geographic barriers, etc. with such freedom and ease. Today there is no better tool that social media. The power of the network is in the people involved, and the power of social media is its ability to connect people. There are networking communities, special interest groups (SIG), communities of practice (CoP), forums and blogs that encourage knowledge sharing and networking on various platforms. For example, Twitter has numerous weekly 'chat' sessions. You can follow trends using hash-tags (#) or discussions. In addition to discussing current issues and educating others, participants in these chats regularly exchange ideas about what they’re doing in their field, the latest technology or processes and ways to improve best practices.

  • Understanding different perspectives: Social media allows us to engage in dialogue with people from different backgrounds. Understanding other perspectives fosters innovation and creativity. The lifeline of modern business is found in nurturing the diversity and creativity of its workforce. Time spent in civil discourse is constructive when it builds understanding of both parties’ opinions.

Rules of Engagement

Everest CS expressly permits the use of social networks and motivates employees and clients to communicate on social media sites. We believe that communication positively influences our work and our knowledge and supports us in the development of relationships. To encourage a positive experience using social media, Everest CS has compared various 'netiquette' policies to compile our "Rules of Engagement". Our guidelines are limited to 8 points:

  • Contribute: You'll get out of social media what you put into it. Be engaged and informed. Share your wins and your lessons learned. The nature of the human spirit is about collaboration. When you contribute you have the power to influence and affect change. Read the posts of others and provide meaningful feedback. Keep abreast of the current conversations and what people are saying in order to see if, and how, you may be able to contribute a new perspective

  • Responsibility: You are responsible for your postings. Be mindful of what you leave behind on the web. Stay respectful and polite. Be truthful and admit to your errors. If you discover a mistake, issue a clarification or a withdrawal. Make it perfectly clear that you made a mistake. Admitting to mistakes and errors will not make you a social outcast. Rather, finding ways to make your corrections transparent will build credibility.

  • Openness: Identify yourself. The value of social media is reduced when individuals hide behind a pseudonym or an anonymous post. Make it clear that you are expressing your own opinion. Establishing and maintaining trust is hard over social media. If you do not identify yourself, don't be surprised if your well-thought out contributions are ignored. By identifying yourself you add authenticity to your online contributions.

  • Respect: The rules of 'netiquette' apply here. Adhere to professional norms and standards of any office on the social media platforms. Do not publish negative comments about anyone. If you see distortions or patently false statements by anyone, you may address these misrepresentations, but stick to the facts and make sure the facts you rely on are publicly available.

  • Confidentiality: Respect confidential information regarding yourself, your family, your organization and its customers.

  • Copyright: Respect copyright and specify quotes and image sources. If the information you contribute is not your own opinion: give credit to the originator.

  • Security: Check your security settings on social media platforms. Make sure you know what is publicly available, versus what is private.

  • Anti-spam: It's about Quality not Quantity. Some ways to provide quality are to provide links to whatever sources you think are necessary, such as other blogs, media articles or websites. Offer your contribution with context whenever you can and make it interesting for others to read. Always keep the language simple and flowing. Avoid using jargon and profanity. If you blog, make sure your readers have a way to offer feedback and make sure to respond in a timely manner. A two-way communication exchange allows for a more meaningful conversation - quality.