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Guide to enterprise social networking governance and compliance

Social networking governance policies should encourage active online participation while mirroring existing business conduct and compliance policies.

Social networking governance policies should encourage active online participation while mirroring existing business conduct and compliance policies. How do you balance the benefits of open collaborative exchanges from both public social networking sites and internal social software applications while ensuring privacy, security and regulatory compliance? This comprehensive guide to social networking governance and compliance aggregates expert advice, case studies and industry research to help you build an advantageous social networking governance policy.

Managing the HR and compliance issues of social networking
A risk-based approach to social networking
Why should businesses be concerned with social networking compliance? Compliance juggles a range of legislative, industry regulations and e-discovery requests on a daily basis. Particularly challenging is e-discovery, since social networking interaction falls under the category of electronically stored information (ESI), meaning that it's discoverable and may be part of a legal action. There needs to be a way to record and monitor social networking interaction.

Social networking guidelines from IBM and FINRA
IBM Social Computing Guidelines

FINRA social networking guidelines

Social media archiving for FINRA compliance
Lack of control over independent use of social media can be a challenge in any organization, but when disclosures are legally mandated by regulations, any lack of clarity can cause real problems.

Social media governance lacking at top firms
Enterprise adoption of social media and social networking technologies remains a free-for-all with little to or governance, putting many companies at risk of security breaches and public relations nightmares.

Social media compliance extends beyond archiving 
There's a lot about employee use of social networking sites that makes IT departments nervous -- network congestion, brand protection, spyware -- and when it comes to managing access to social media, compliance may take first place. Whether or not users access their professional or personal accounts while on the network, enterprises must keep a diligent paper trail and be on the lookout for regulatory slipups that could cost a company millions.

Put some teeth into social media governance with enforcement tools 
As social networking becomes ubiquitous throughout enterprises -- whether for professional or personal use -- IT organizations will have to put some teeth into social media governance or risk losing control. But playing Facebook and Twitter police doesn't have to mean that unified communications (UC) managers must spend their days manually trolling users' status updates and tweets.

Should you block social networking sites? If so, how?
If your company has decided it must block social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, you may want to reevaluate the security risks, benefits and costs of this action. If you really need to implement these types of blocks, follow these instructions to enable the necessary network controls.

Social media challenges reside with users, not technology
There is no doubt we have opened a Pandora's Box with social media, and no amount of network policing is going to make the problems go away. Enterprises need to accept this reality and -- rather than focus on ways to minimize it -- should seek to develop best practices based on how employees use these technologies. Social media may be a product of the Internet, but the users are people. Many of the concerns around how all these tools hurt productivity are based on how they affect our behavior. They will become productivity enablers only when our behaviors change in the right way.

Dig Deeper on Social Networking for Business

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