Social Media Policy

There's a lot of talk about Social Media these days both at Dell and around the world. Dell encourages all employees to use Social Media the right way and this policy should help you on that path. This policy is the first step, not the last; so if you're interested in Social Media, whether personally or professionally, you should look into our Social Media and Communities University (SMaC U) classes.

Since the term Social Media is used a number of different ways, we want to make sure you understand what we mean when we say Social Media. Social Media is any tool or service that facilitates conversations over the internet. Social Media applies not only to traditional big names, such as Facebook®, Twitter and Renren, but also applies to other platforms you may use that include user conversations, which you may not think of as Social Media. Platforms such as, YouTube™, Flickr™, blogs and wikis are all part of Social Media.

Finally, even though this policy is written so it’s easy to understand and conversational in tone, it's an actual policy. If you don't follow the principles laid out below when engaging in Social Media you could face serious consequences up to termination in accordance with the laws of the country where you are employed. Nobody wants that to happen though, so read over this policy and make sure you understand it.

Dell has five Social Media principles that you should know before engaging in any type of online conversation that might impact Dell. You'll know these principles if you've already taken the Social Media Principles course from SMaC U. If you have any questions about these principles, this policy or Social Media in general, please email Social@dell.com.

Protect Information

Social Media encourages you to share information and connect with people. When you use Social Media, you should try and build relationships, but you should also be aware that through your relationship with Dell, you have access to confidential information that shouldn't be made public. So, you shouldn't share our confidential company information or any of our customers' personally identifiable information. Every year, you take a course on how you should protect privacy and personal information. The same thing applies on Social Media, because you mistakenly post confidential information on a Social Media platform, it will be hard to take down that information completely.

Be Transparent and Disclose

When you talk about Dell on Social Media, you should disclose that you work for Dell. Your friends may know you work for Dell, but their network of friends and colleagues may not and you don't want to accidentally mislead someone. You should know and remember the 10 magic words: "Hello, my name is [NAME], and I work for Dell." Be sure to replace [NAME] with your name because that looks odd.

Follow the Law, Follow the Code of Conduct

Social Media lets you communicate incredibly fast and have your message go viral in seconds. This makes it difficult to fix an inaccurate message once you've shared it. The best thing to do is double check all content before you share it, both for accuracy and to make sure it fits into Dell's overall Social Media strategy, our Code of Conduct and any restrictions that may apply to your content based on local law (such as the FTC Endorsement Guidelines in the US) and the platform you are using (such as terms of service for the site upon which you are sharing). One of Dell's core values is winning with integrity, and that applies to Social Media as well. Dell employees hold ourselves to high ethical standards, as our Code of Conduct spells out, and that applies to Social Media just like everything else you do as a Dell employee.

Be Responsible

Make sure you're engaging in Social Media conversations the right way. If you aren't an authority on a subject, send someone to the expert rather than responding yourself. Don't speak on behalf of Dell if you aren't giving an official Dell response, and be sure your audience knows the difference. If you see something being shared related to Dell on a Social Media platform that shouldn't be happening, immediately inform the Social Media and Communities team, your manager, Ethics and Compliance or some other appropriate contact. And always remember that anything posted in social media can go viral, no matter what your privacy settings may be, so be sure you’re only posting content you would feel comfortable showing up in your boss’ inbox, your coworker’s Twitter feed or the front page of a major news site.

Be Nice, Have Fun and Connect

Social Media is a place to have conversations and build connections, whether you're doing it for Dell or for yourself. The connections you'll make on Social Media will be much more rewarding if you remember to have conversations rather than push agendas. Dell has always been a leader in using technology to directly connect with our customers. Social Media is another tool you can use to build our brand, just be sure you do it the right way.

Social Media Account Ownership

This section isn’t a Social Media principle, but it's still important enough to be in this policy. If you participate in Social Media activities as part of your job at Dell, that account may be considered Dell property. If that account is Dell property, you don't get to take it with you if you leave the company — meaning you will not try to change the password or the account name or create a similar sounding account or have any ownership of the contacts and connections you have gained through the account. This doesn't apply to personal accounts that you may access at work, but would certainly apply to all Dell-branded accounts created as part of your job. If you have any questions about an account you operate, please reach out to the SMaC team to discuss the account.

Global Policy on Social Media Effective Date: 15 August 2011