MADISON, Wis. (1/12/10)--The CUNA HR/TD Council and the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council have published a new white paper, “Social Media Guidelines and Policies,” which includes about having a credit union social media policies and what they should include. The white paper is a result of conversations by participants at the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council’s webinar series on social media last fall. Many participants saw the need for a social media policy, but they didn’t have a policy in place and didn’t know where to start. The two councils commissioned the white paper afterward. “A lot of credit unions used to think that having a social media policy meant having something in place that says whether employees could access social media websites on company time,” said Christopher Morris, CUNA Councils Web manager and the first speaker in the social media webinar series. “That’s not enough anymore--credit unions need to have guidelines in place to ensure that employees don’t inadvertently harm their brand online. For example, what do you do if a staff member posts negative comments about work on their personal Twitter account or blog?” he said. Social media experts counsel against having a separate social media strategy. Rather, they advise making it a subset of an overall business strategy, according to the paper. They emphasize that social media is another set of tools that serve a variety of purposes. A vibrant social media effort can help build community, engage workers, identify in-house expertise and eventually drive business. Developing guidelines and policies requires a delicate balance for an organizational culture that allows social media to flourish while protecting the credit union’s assets--its reputation in the community--the paper said.