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Developing a Personal Social Media Policy

iStock_000009648196XSmallMost businesses are being forced to think through and add a social media policy to their human resource policies.  The rise of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking choices means the workplace is being impacted greatly by social media.  Individuals represent their organization even during their personal time and that needs to be considered in employee management.

At Grace Community Church we are adding a policy this fall, but I suspect ours will be less strict than some businesses I have seen are considering.  We actually see a huge benefit from our people being involved in social media, especially at a personal level. It is still important that our staff represent the church and Kingdom well, so I think it is important that a person develop his or her own social media policy.  Having a personal social media policy builds accountability, structure, discipline and purpose into the time spent social networking.

Here are a few of the things I have in my own social media policy:

Determine why I am participating in social media
– A person could choose to participate for fun, networking, businesses or marketing, but for me personally my end goal is Kingdom-building.

Decide in what social mediums I will participate – The fact is there are more choices than there is time available to do them all. I have chosen to limit my time to Facebook, Twitter, and my blog.  Right now these seem to have the best impact on accomplishing my purpose, but if that changes I plan to change with the culture.

Learn about my choices – I do not have to be an expert in my three mediums, but I need to know enough about them to be effective at accomplishing my purpose for being involved with them. .  Occasionally I have to learn new techniques to keep up with these mediums.

Organize my time on the front end – I have learned to connect my Twitter to Facebook, so that I actually spend little time on Facebook. I use Tweetdeck to organize the Twitter followers I learn from the most.  I automate Tweets for times I am unavailable.  It is important that I keep my time manageable for effectiveness in accomplishing my purpose.

Discipline myself to follow my own plan – I have to continually remind myself of my purpose and not allow social media to control my time.  I use it instead to help me control my overall purpose in ministry.

Do you have a personal social media policy? How does yours differ from mine?

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Ron Edmondson

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