Social Media Guidelines

These are the official guidelines for social media at AMERIgreen. If you’re an AMERIgreen employee or contractor creating or contributing to blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds, or any other kind of social media both on and off and its subsidiaries —these guidelines are for you. We expect all who participate in social media on behalf of AMERIgreen to be trained, to understand, and to follow these guidelines. Failure to do so could put your future participation at risk. These guidelines will continually evolve as new technologies and social networking tools emerge—so check back once in awhile to make sure you’re up to date.

When You Engage
Emerging platforms for online collaboration are fundamentally changing the way we work, offering new ways to engage with customers, colleagues, and the world at large. It’s a new model for interaction and we believe social computing can help you to build stronger, more successful business relationships. And it’s a way for you to take part in global conversations related to the work we are doing at AMERIgreen and the things we care about.

If you participate in social media, please follow these guiding principles:

  • Stick to your area of expertise and provide unique, individual perspectives on what’s going on at AMERIgreen and in the world.
  • Post meaningful, respectful comments—in other words, no spam and no remarks that are off-topic or offensive.
  • Always pause and think before posting. That said, reply to comments in a timely manner when a response is appropriate.
  • Respect proprietary information and content, and confidentiality.
  • When disagreeing with others’ opinions, keep it appropriate and polite.

Rules of Engagement
Be transparent.
Your honesty—or dishonesty—will be quickly noticed in the social media environment. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, be the first to point it out. Transparency is about your identity and relationship to AMERIgreen. You still need to keep confidentiality around proprietary information and content.

Be judicious. Make sure your efforts to be transparent don’t violate privacy, confidentiality, and legal guidelines for external commercial speech. Ask permission to publish or report on conversations that are meant to be private or internal to AMERIgreen. All statements must be true and not misleading and all claims must be substantiated and approved. Product benchmarks must be approved for external posting by the appropriate product bench-marking team. Please never comment on anything related to legal matters, litigation, or any parties we are in litigation with without the appropriate approval. If you want to write about the competition, make sure you know what you are talking about and that you have the appropriate permission. Also be smart about protecting yourself, your privacy, and AMERIgreen’s company privacy. What you publish is widely accessible and will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully.

Write what you know. Make sure you write and post about your areas of expertise, especially as related to AMERIgreen and our industry. If you are writing about a topic that AMERIgreen is involved with but you are not the AMERIgreen expert on the topic, you should make this clear to your readers. And write in the first person. If you publish to a website outside AMERIgreen, please use a disclaimer something like this: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AMERIgreen’s positions, strategies, or opinions.” Also, please respect brand, trademark, copyright, fair use, trade secrets (including our processes and methodologies), confidentiality, and financial disclosure laws. If you have any questions about these, see your AMERIgreen legal representative. Remember, you may be personally responsible for your content.

Perception is reality. In online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. Just by identifying yourself as an AMERIgreen employee, you are creating perceptions about your expertise and about AMERIgreen by our shareholders, customers, and the general public-and perceptions about you by your colleagues and managers. Do us all proud. Be sure that all content associated with you is consistent with your work and with AMERIgreen’s values and professional standards.

It’s a conversation. Talk to your readers like you would talk to real people in professional situations. In other words, avoid overly pedantic or “composed” language. Don’t be afraid to bring in your own personality and say what’s on your mind. Consider content that’s open-ended and invites response. Encourage comments. You can also broaden the conversation by citing others who are blogging about the same topic and allowing your content to be shared or syndicated.

Are you adding value? There are millions of words out there. The best way to get yours read is to write things that people will value. Social communication from AMERIgreen should help our customers, partners, and co-workers. It should be thought-provoking and build a sense of community. If it helps people improve knowledge or skills, build their businesses, do their jobs, solve problems, or understand AMERIgreen better—then it’s adding value.

Your Responsibility: What you write is ultimately your responsibility. Participation in social computing on behalf of AMERIgreen is not a right but an opportunity, so please treat it seriously and with respect. If you want to participate on behalf of AMERIgreen, please receive the proper validation from company owners and bosses. Please also follow the AMERIgreen social conduct, and the terms and conditions for contributing to any third-party sites.

Create some excitement. As a business and as a corporate citizen, AMERIgreen is making important contributions to the world, to the future, and to public dialogue on a broad range of issues. Our business activities are increasingly focused on high-value innovation. Let’s share with the world the exciting things we’re learning and doing—and open up the channels to learn from others.

Be a Leader. There can be a fine line between healthy debate and incendiary reaction. Do not denigrate our competitors or AMERIgreen. Nor do you need to respond to every criticism or barb. Try to frame what you write to invite differing points of view without inflaming others. Some topics—like politics or religion—slide more easily into sensitive territory. So be careful and considerate. Once the words are out there, you can’t really get them back. And once an inflammatory discussion gets going, it’s hard to stop.

Did you screw up? If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction. If you’re posting to a blog, you may choose to modify an earlier post—just make it clear that you have done so.

If it gives you pause, pause. If you’re about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, don’t shrug it off and hit ‘send.’ Take a minute to review these guidelines and try to figure out what’s bothering you, then fix it. If you’re still unsure, you might want to discuss it with your manager or legal representative. Ultimately, what you publish is yours—as is the responsibility. So be sure.

Contractors & Endorsements
AMERIgreen supports transparency. We are committed to ensuring that our social media practitioners (including blog, Twitter, Facebook pages (AMERIgreen and Our Soil, Our Oil), YouTube Channel, and any other social media) clearly disclose relationships and endorsements, and that statements about AMERIgreen products and services are truthful and substantiated.

Please remember that any social media experts contracted, seeded or in any way compensated by AMERIgreen must follow AMERIgreen conduct. Your blog will be monitored for compliance with our guidelines and accurate descriptions of our products and claims.

Moderation Guidelines
Moderation is the act of reviewing and approving content before it’s published on the site (This applies to social media content written on behalf of AMERIgreen, whether the site is on or off AMERIgreen does not endorse or take responsibility for content posted by third parties, referred to as user generated content (UGC). This includes text input and uploaded files (video, images, audio, executables, documents).

While we strongly encourage user participation, there are some guidelines we ask you to follow to keep it safe for everyone. Please note that content originating inside AMERIgreen is not moderated. This means we allow our blog authors to post directly without approval.

Pre-moderation. Even when a site requires the user to register before posting, simple user name and email entry doesn’t really validate the person. So to ensure least risk/most security, we require moderation of all UGC posts before they are published (pre-moderation).

Community moderation. For established, healthy communities, group moderation by regular users can work well. This will sometimes be allowed to take the place of pre-moderation—it must be applied for and approved.

Balanced online dialogue. Whether content is pre-moderated or community moderated, follow these three principles: the Good, the Bad, but not the Ugly. If the content is positive or negative and in context to the conversation, then we approve the content, regardless of whether it’s favorable or unfavorable to AMERIgreen. But if the content is ugly, offensive, denigrating and completely out of context, then we reject the content. We reserve the right to delete or remove content added, posted or commented to our site.

Last updated: November 2010

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