The NHL has a social media policy. Do you?

In a sport where bloodthirsty fans cheer high-sticking and boarding, there's one area where players have clearly defined rules of etiquette: social media. The National Hockey League recently unveiled a social media policy for players that outlines both when and how they should use it.

In addition to blackouts starting two hours before opening faceoff, the policy encourages basic, gentlemanly behavior and the use of good judgment. Which brings us to a good point: if the NHL has a formal policy for social media use, surely your company could benefit from some guidelines as well.  

After all, the things your employees say can reflect on your company, whether they're speaking on your behalf, tweeting about the company on their personal account, or just griping to their friends on Facebook.

Much of the NHL's policy boils down to good common sense and is worth inclusion for any company or organization, whether or not they engage in full contact sports:

  • Remember that everything you say is on the record and can be archived.
  • Take personal responsibility for your comments.
  • Respect your audience.
  • Do not divulge proprietary information.
  • Stop and think before you post.

Even though these guidelines may seem obvious, putting them down on paper can make an employee stop and think twice before posting.

Does your company have a social media policy? What should be at the top of every company's list of guidelines?