Social media governance – a living, breathing beast.

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Many organisations struggle with developing social media governance. For most it leads to a series of documents that are written, stamped, and filed away, never to be seen again.  Establishing a set of ‘rules’ for something that is essentially an organic process causes conflict for most people.

Recently we helped a client re-evaluate their governance model in preparation for some major advancements to their use of social.  This can be a provocative process as people from across the organisation share ideas on how their organisation should act and behave on social media.  It’s these discussions that really interest me.

Because social media governance is a cultural thing.  Not a legal thing.

“Social media governance” is the thing that happens between you talking to your colleagues about how your organisation should act and behave on social, and what actually happens.

And it can be the act of writing this down into a document that takes it from a living, breathing thing, to something doomed for the bottom of the inbox.

Developing a set of rules for something that is social is possible – as long as those rules live in a social way.

Social media governance should be an organic and collaborative process. It should involve the people who are using it everyday, it should be be accessible to everyone and, just as importantly, it should be built on regularly.It should support your front-line staff in clearing any confusion about who does what. When a major social crisis hits it should be your go-to, and something that your people should feel ownership enough to build upon.

If it lives in a social way it can, and will, be used as an active tool of support – rather than something simply crossed off someone’s ‘to-do’ list.


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