Online communications channels have become intricately interwoven into our social fabric. The overwhelming majority of young people use Facebook regularly and adoption among older audiences continues to rise.

Just as we use the telephone and e-mail to communicate with our colleagues, friends and family, people of all ages are increasingly using social media to communicate as well. that means most of your company's employees are using social media throughout the course of the day to contact friends and associates, make plans and organizes activities.

Since those interactions are often discoverable after-the-fact, organizations are developing social media policies to provide employees with clear-cut guidelines of what is and is not permissible use.

Prior to social media, issues of public disclosure were often relegated to a paragraph in an organizations code of conduct policy that was written to restrict unofficial spokespersons from releasing official company statements through conventional channels like the mainstream media or press releases.