Thumbnail Image

Social media policy analysis: The classification and comparison of social media policies within Fortune 500 companies

Frank, Kelsey L.
In order to determine what methods companies are employing to account for increased social media utilization, the social media policies of the top 50 companies from the Fortune 500 list for the year 2018 were analyzed and categorized. The specific policy categories utilized were based on the findings of a 2010 study conducted by the Center for Technology in Government, in which eight social media policy categories were identified (employee access, account management, acceptable use, employee conduct, content, security, legal issues, and citizen conduct). The two most heavily utilized categories (employee conduct and legal issues) were the focus of this study, and they were analyzed through a technique known as text mining, which was used to return the most frequently used words within each compiled set of data. This research compared the verbiage of policies within the two aforementioned categories, and the results of this research found that social media policies within the employee conduct category (which 34 of the 50 companies had some form of) primarily utilized active, positive words including, but not limited to, "conduct," "treat," and "tolerated" to warn against making rude or inappropriate comments/posts on social media. On the other hand, social media policies within the legal issues category (47 companies) were generally more concerned with protecting company and consumer information (frequently used words included "confidential," "financial," and "trademark").