People are drawn to social networks like moths to a flame.

Social media can be irresistible, and yes, if you’re not mindful, social media can become addictive and full of reputation mine fields. Sharing your works and ideas online has never been as easy as it is today which is why being aware of where, how and why you leave your digital footprints is imperative. When personalities, personas, human behavior and the Web intersect, you never know what may be revealed.

Recently KitchenAid & StubHub experienced how digital outcry can quickly impact an organization, business and personal livelihood when an inappropriate or insensitive tweet is shared on the wrong Twitter user account.

Keep your personal and professional reputation safe and your organization character intact.

Social Media Checklist

To avoid getting burned by a social media blunder consider these social media compliance steps:

  1. Educate staff about social media and the importance of using social media properly.
  2. Discuss the role of judgment, responsibility and how your professional and/or organizational ethos directly impacts social networking.
  3. Teach social media etiquette and revisit the professional manners associated with your brand(s) and organization.
  4. Share studies, reports and other examples of wrecked reputations due to social media errors.
  5. Distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable online behavior, give clear examples of both and highlight how you expect staff to conduct themselves online.
  6. Develop, introduce or revise your social media policy.
  7. Establish rules of engagement (how you will use (not misuse or abuse) social media accounts) – for professional, personal and branded social media accounts.
  8. Clearly identify all social media accounts under your management and those that you are responsible for curating and updating.
  9. Require everyone responsible for updating social media accounts to use a specified, preferred way to update content per account.
  10.  Assign different staff members to manage separate accounts. In the case of Twitter, use one of the many ways (, TweetDeck, HootSuite, or Twitter Apps etc.) to update Twitter.
  11. Keep professional and personal social media accounts separated.
  12. Decide if you will allow real time updates as new information is made available or opt instead for scheduled updates which can be reviewed prior to being shared.
  13. Decide if you require social media updates (e.g. Tweets) to be reviewed by another set of eyes to further reduce the risk associated with real time and on demand online responses.
  14. For real-time updates, save the update as a draft  then come back to it after a short break to review it, then share it (if it is acceptable).
  15. Use different colors and images, and digital links to differentiate social media accounts.
  16. Pause.
  17. Minimize or remove distractions while managing social media accounts.
  18. Revisit your social media policy often.
  19. Keep staff informed of the emerging ways social media can be used to move business forward.
  20. Conduct social media training on an ongoing basis.

Repeat steps 1 – 20 as necessary.

What else would you add to this social media compliance checklist?


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