4 Things Your Social Media Policy Might Be MissingJune 28, 2016 - By: Jason Carney
Social media becomes more accessible every day. You can tweet your thoughts, scroll through Instagram or post a Facebook status from just about anywhere at any time of day. Yes, that includes the office during the workday. Should you care if your employees occasionally jump on their social media accounts? The answer is yes, you definitely should.
It’s important for companies and organizations to keep track of what their employees are sharing on social media, especially on issues that pertain to the workplace.
How exactly do you do it, though?
A good way to mitigate the risk and provide guidance for employees is to have a social media policy in place. These standards can help improve your employees’ productivity and safeguard your company’s online integrity, all while allowing your employees to utilize electronics at work and preventing non-work distractions.
Already have a social media policy in place, but are struggling to reap the benefits? It might be time to review your guidelines to make sure they are still applicable. If any of the following ring true, your social media policy might need to be updated.
1. You’re leaving out most of the relevant social media platforms.
Your plan may only address Facebook or Twitter. It’s important to include the many other outlets of expression on social media as well. Don’t leave out LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat – all platforms that are increasing in popularity. You should also include personal blogs under the umbrella as well.
To some, it is common sense to not share confidential information on social media, but common sense is not always common. It is crucial that you accept liability and spell out exactly what is expected of your employees.
3. Your plan doesn’t address social media usage or commentary after employees leave the company.
This is a concern that policies need to cover in case former employees have sour grapes and decide to share thoughts about the working environment, brand or services. While you can’t necessarily change a person’s perception, you can temper what they share online about your company.
4. You neglect to train employees.
Many companies distribute their social media policies like an employee handbook, which may get looked at once, if that, and essentially forgotten. On social media, a negative post has the potential to spread like wildfire, which could cost your company time and money repairing your brand. While you are entitled to fire an employee for violation of the policy, if your company’s reputation is damaged, you could see your business go out the door as well. With so much at stake, companies should strongly consider making social media policy training part of the onboarding process, and a mandatory annual event, too.
When creating or updating a social media policy, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. WorkSmart Systems has developed clear, yet comprehensive, social media guidelines that you can use to write a new social media policy, or to enhance your current policy. If you need to revisit your social media policy to make effective changes, we’re here to help. Download our Electronic Media and Social Networking Policy guide to get started.