Best Buy’s social media policy has very good points along with some that I feel could be expanded on. You can find Best Buy’s social media policy here: http://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Welcome-News/Best-Buy-Social-Media-Policy/td-p/20492
I really like how this policy seems to be set aside from other employee policies. I think that by making this document separate from others it can serve as a better reference for employees. They will not have to search through the entire policy to find maybe one or two bullet points on social media. Also, social media is now such a large part of business the policy for it deserves to have its own in-depth document of rules and regulations.
A highlight that I see in this policy is that an employee should, “Disclose your affiliation: If you talk about work related matters that are within your area of job responsibility you must disclose your affiliation with Best Buy.” I feel this is particularly important because if a consumer reads what they think is a neutral third party giving a recommendation, it will be received differently than if it is an employee giving that recommendation.
Honestly, when I first saw this regulation I immediately thought of the PR stunt Wal-Mart did with the couple that would camp out in Wal-Mart’s parking lot. They would then give positive reviews on each Wal-Mart. They later came under fire when it was exposed that this couple was actually being compensated by Wal-Mart, which would clearly influence their reviews. If something like this doesn’t work offline it certainly will not be condoned online.
One “Don’t” that I felt was particular important in Best Buy’s policy was “Do not publish, post, or release information that is considered confidential or top secret.” Now, I feel like this would be kind of a no brainer. If you know something about the corporation that is confidential, like anything having to do with a legal situation, don’t talk about it on social media. It is called confidential for a reason.
I do wish that the policy was a little less broad. For example, if an employee at Best Buy posts on Facebook or on Twitter how much they love the new iPad, which Best Buy sells, without saying that they are an employee is that grounds for getting fired? Also, oftentimes on a Tweet there may not be room to say, “Oh, and I work for Best Buy.” Does that then have to go into your description on social media? Does anything you post about technology or even a CD that is sold at Best Buy need this disclosure?
In total, I feel that Best Buy is on the right track with their social media policy. The basic foundations are there but they are not very descriptive. There is still a lot of leeway between what an employee can and cannot do. Now, I know with any corporate policy it would be nice if it could be broken down into black and white but that just isn’t possible. I am not necessarily asking for that but a bit more description on each point couldn’t hurt, right?