Analysis of Dell's Social Media Policy
A social media policy directs an organization and its employees on how to represent themselves online. The company must put this policy in place to regulate how employees use social media but give them enough freedom, so it does not discourage them from using it. Dell's Global Social Media Policy has five principles to ensure its team members maintain the company's online branding via social channels.
For the most part, Dell's social media policy is clear and comprehensive. They define what constitutes social media and specifies which platforms the employees should be conscious of their behavior while using. They also offer the policy translated into 15 other languages so employees around the world can understand the five principles. However, there are specific points in the policy where they could increase their clarity. For instance, the policy notes, "Social media is another tool you can use to build our brand, just be sure you do it the right way" (Dell). While this statement simplifies and generalizes appropriate conduct on social media, to make the policy more comprehensive, it should provide further detail about the methods to build the brand "the right way" and define what "the right way" looks like. Their social media policy provides a reason for the necessity of each principle
Dell reminds its team members that their behavior reflects the company. The second and fourth principles provide situational examples to illustrate this point. For example, the policy creates a scenario where the employee's, "friends may know [they] work for Dell, but their network of friends and colleagues may not, and you don't want to accidentally mislead them" (Dell). These examples allow the employees to put the principles into a familiar context to help them understand when they should consider a specific aspect of the policy.
Dell's social media policy uses a conversational and positive tone. It offers ways for employees to further educate themselves about social media as a career pathway or how to reach out if someone shared information they should not have. Throughout the policy, Dell emphasizes how social media can be a tool for communication and branding opportunities. They do not impose rigid guidelines or specify harsh punishment for inappropriate conduct online to scare their employees from using social media. For these reasons, I find the policy reasonable to follow.
Dell's Global Social Media policy is one, which is simple to comprehend and abide by. It gives responsibility to the employee to understand the procedures and work within Dell's social media principles. With this responsibility, I would have to make a conscious effort to consider how my posts may impact Dell. However, I found it challenging to locate the social media policy as one who does not work for Dell. This difficulty makes me wonder how accessible the corporate policy is for the employees.
Additionally, the policy references other sources for further reading. However, it does not provide links to where I can access those documents if I wanted to read them to answer my questions. As an employee, how will I know if what I post fits into Dell's social media strategy or if it aligns with their Code of Conduct if I am uninformed of what they are? Nevertheless, because Dell has an established Global Social Media Policy, they can guide their employees in fostering a positive reputation for Dell and reduce potential legal issues.