There is no doubting the fact that Social Media can benefit your business greatly, especially for brand building and greater awareness. However, as an employer you will naturally be concerned about the risks social media also brings. One inadvertent tweet or comment about an awkward customer on Facebook can cause a great deal of harm to your carefully built reputation.
Therefore, social media during and out of working hours needs to be managed. I cannot advocate enough how important it is to have a social media policy. This will protect both the employee and the employer.
Here are some thoughts to consider regarding social media in general and when writing a social media policy:
- Be positive. Include what can be done and what is best practice rather than focusing on what cannot be done.
- Does the person responsible for social media understand the company’s social media plan?
- Who has access to the user names and passwords for each social media account?
- The password is owned by the company not the user
- Company logo can only be used when authorised
- Is the company portrayed consistently in everyone’s LinkedIn profile?
- Sharing sensitive or confidential information regarding the business could lead to dismissal.
- Be aware that the use of social media by employers has to be balanced by the employee’s right to private life. The employer could be subject to unfair dismissal claim.
- Do you need to create a policy for each social media platform or will one cover all suffice?
- Employees’ comments on third party websites about any aspect of the company’s business should clearly identify themselves as an employee and include a disclaimer.
- A disclaimer can be ‘these views are my own and not necessarily reflect those of the company’.
- Cross reference the social media policy in the employee handbook and employment agreement.
- Ensure that all employees are aware of and understand the social media policy.
If you would like help creating a social media policy please call us on 01737 336336.