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Social Guidelines Worthy of an Olympian

August 27, 2012  
Social media guidelines are the hallmark, and often the Achilles heel, of a solid social strategy.

To be successful, your user guidelines need to be simple and facilitate right social behavior—instead of forcing visitors to wade through legalese. The worst thing a social media policy can do is make users feel like they're walking into a bear trap, set to close around their ankles at any moment!

Crisis manager Melissa Agnes recently reviewed the International Olympic Committee's social media rules and regs, then took them apart to teach community hosts how to grab the "gold"—by maintaining healthy social interaction. Here are some highlights.

Goals of a Social Media Policy:

  • To identify social media's purpose for your brand
  • To maintain marketing consistency, no matter how many people are actively representing your brand online
  • To maintain harmony among your brand's voice, visual identity, goals, and objectives

Agnes also emphasizes the importance of including a clause on non-discriminatory posts/Tweets, which the IOC handled well. "Postings, blogs, and tweets should at all times conform to the Olympic spirit and fundamental principles ... as contained in the Olympic Charter, be dignified and in good taste, and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images," the guidelines said.

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