This concerns the basics in the policy and the guidelines for Volvo Car Group and its subsidiaries within social media. The guidelines are directed towards anyone within Volvo Car Group who is blogging, twittering, producing and/or publishing pod radio or online videos or in any other way is present and active in different social communities and social media services.
Volvo Car Group in Social Media
Social media is a complement to all other traditional media and communications. Social media is built on communication and not only on information. For Volvo Car Group the usage of social media is a tool for increasing customer satisfaction as well as the possibility to sell more cars.
Key attributes for social media:
Presence and participation
Creating a buzz and building relationships
Receptivity and transparency
By participation in social media we can use our resources effectively and reach out to a large number of people, regardless of time and place. Our customers can be sure we are trustworthy, we care and react.
We can build our brand by participation in discussions, by connecting people and communities. By sharing corporate statements and by participation in discussions where brand and brand values are discussed.
Volvo Car Group has no views on employees’ private lives or the thoughts or opinions that the individual employee may wish to share online. In order to aid online communication and avoid the risk of mistakes, Volvo Car Group has compiled a few guidelines along with tips and advice for people who are active in the social media and who therefore come up against issues that in some way affect the company.
Social Media Guidelines for Employees
Some online essentials
The guidelines, Code of Conduct and Brand Values that Volvo Car Group represent are all valid online as well as in real life.
- Be personal without getting private.
- Be open, link and refer to other blog comments for instance.
- Make sure you do not reveal any business sensitive secrets, launch of coming products or similar.
- Treat competitors with respect.
- Volvo Car Group Public Affairs does not moderate comments from employees.
- Once you have read through the social media guidelines and Volvo Car Group's Code of Conduct we trust that you will respect these and use your common sense.
- An employee at Volvo Car Group should not comment on legal issues concerning the company unless it is within their Volvo Car Group assignment.
- Always refer to the source.
- If there are any uncertainties you can always ask your manager or Public Affairs for guidance.
The company understands and encourages those employees and associates who engage in online social media.
Volvo Car Group strongly recommends that you use your own name and that you are transparent with whom you represent when participating, sharing or writing in all online publishing. In online conversation, as well as in all other conversation, you are always an ambassador for the company even if you are not acting on behalf of the company. When you are acting privately, use your own private email-address (gmail, hotmail etc). If you are acting as an appointed corporate spokesperson, you can use your corporate (firstname.lastname@example.org) email address.
If you are using social media for private purposes, use the same common sense as you would use for private phone calls, i.e. limit them to necessary activities and try to avoid such activities during working hours.
There are few things that make more impact than honesty. Therefore stick to the facts as you know them when you discuss topics related to Volvo Car Group and make sure they are within your area of responsibility. You should always make sure that you are not revealing any business sensitive information.
It is difficult to hold back when you get involved in a topic that interests you, but make sure to always protect yourself. Be careful with revealing any personal information about yourself and others. When something is published on the internet it will stay. The same goes for Volvo Car Group's secrecy obligation. The social media guidelines are subordinate to Volvo Car Group's Code of Conduct. Make sure you have read the Code of Conduct and that you respect the confidentiality and loyality agreements between Volvo Car Group and you as an employee.
Make it obvious to others that your thoughts are your own and not the company's when you are acting on a private basis. There should not be any doubt as to who is the sender. This is important both from a purely legal point as well as from a point of trust. Marketing Volvo Car Group's products or disclosing information from Volvo Car Group, without letting people know that you are affiliated with Volvo Car Group, might harm your personal credibility.
Today, posting, commenting or sharing is so easy that one can also easily miss the fundamentals in business and personal life. Laws still apply. Remember to validate the copyright if you post information that was not created by you. If you refer to information on other blogs, the common way of showing respect is by linking to the original post.
6. Be humble.
Respect is also about how you treat people. Always remain objective and treat people respectfully. Do not pick fights. Be the first to admit mistakes.
Volvo Car Group's relationship with our customers, employees and partners is our most important asset, and it is important that we always protect this relationship. You cannot cite or disclose customer names without their approval. Protect your fellow workers and our customers, dealers, and vendors by refraining from sharing any of their personal information, statements, or photographs unless you have their written permission to do so. Bringing someone else into the conversation without their permission can be destructive to relationships, cause misunderstanding, or violate the law (including privacy and defamation laws), commercial contracts, or confidentiality agreements.
Writing about competition is good, but expressing negative thoughts about competitors without support of facts is not ok. If you write about competition, write with the respect they deserve as a competitor of Volvo Car Group.
It is ok to disagree with the opinions of others, but do so with respect.
10. Promote others.
Since we promote sharing and caring, Volvo Car Group believes that linking to other online actors is positive showing the source of information for example. If you find interesting information, provide links, generously.
11. If you need guidance.
Since Volvo Car Group believes in the best judgement of our employees, these guidelines are in the spirit of trust and openness. When in doubt, please ask your manager for advice. There are always consequences to what you publish. Therefore, make sure that you are comfortable with what you publish. As an employee you have a loyalty obligation towards Volvo Car Group, so be aware that what you publish may impact your employment. Concerning criticism against your employer or bad conditions at the workplace you should always discuss the issue internally with your manager or an other company representative to enable corrective actions.
12. Whom to contact?
In the case of customer complaints or issues please make sure to forward these or advise the issuer to contact Volvo Car Group Global Customer Relations
Do not provide technical advice or post information related to vehicle modification or repair. Do not attempt to address customer product or service related concerns or complaints. Do not speculate regarding the cause or resolution of customers’ vehicle concerns or complaints. Instead, inform the customer that you cannot handle the concern for them and that they should work directly with their dealer to resolve it. If the customer apparently has made a good faith effort to work with the dealer, refer the customer to the local Customer Relations Centre (or to the Global Customer Relations for redirection)
If you have questions about the company, you can also contact HR Service Centre
If a comment or question is outside your area of responsibility or beyond your level of knowledge so that an official company response is needed, bring it to the attention of a member of Public Affairs, Global Marketing or to the Legal department at Volvo Car Group.
13. Ideas and innovations.
Any questions or proposals such as new ideas or innovations should be sent to Intellectual Properties at Volvo Car Group. Abide by laws as you would in any other situation. This includes laws protecting intellectual property (such as copyright and trademarks), defamation, false advertising, competition (e.g. antitrust), and financial disclosure laws. You should note that you may not use the Volvo trademark or other company brand trademarks on your personal sites.