In the wake of the Advertising Standards Board’s controversial ruling on Facebook pages, and after a year in development, The Communications Council (TCC) has launched a social media code of conduct to address the challenges faced by the industry.

The code provides specific guidance on best practice behaviour when working and operating within social media, to help businesses maintain a high standard of respect, integrity, transparency and honesty.

“Although the Social Media Code of Conduct has been in progress for the past year, we feel the launch comes at a particularly pertinent time,” says Margaret Zabel, CEO of The Communications Council.

“This month’s controversial ruling from the Advertising Standards Bureau is a timely reminder of the developing landscape of communications and our legal and ethical accountabilities,” Zabel says.

“Consumers are increasingly seeking transparency from brands, and clients are looking for ways to monitor and minimise legal risk on social media channels, so it has never been more important to have a set of guidelines in place to minimise the risk of social media engagement harming your organisation, client or employee’s reputation.”

TCC will launch the code via a social media legal seminar to educate businesses about the potential risk management and compliance issues complicit with social media.

The code has been released in beta version to allow its evolution as the fast-changing social media landscape develops.