The press is often reporting on incidents of improper use of social media within the workplace. Such as the waitress who was fired after uploading an angry status on Facebook about a customer, or the story of an office worker losing their job based on a tweet they posted about a colleague.
Social media is becoming more accessible and more widely used by people in this day and age; it is therefore no surprise that many companies have decided to adopt social media policies for their businesses to not only protect themselves from these types of incidents but also to use social media as a force to increase the prosperity of a company.
A social media policy can be a helpful tool in mitigating risk for both employer and employee. It therefore should cover two important areas. The first area is how your company uses social media. This can be things such as who is responsible for managing the company social media accounts, what they can and can’t say, the social networks they use and the tools they use to manage them. By having guidelines set out for company use of social media, staff are clearer on what they are to post and how they are to network with other companies or individuals. This then can have a more positive effect on the way your company is being marketed. Benefits include increased brand recognition, greater conversation rates with potential clients and even decreased marketing costs overall.
The second important area is how employees may use their own accounts; your internet use policy will probably cover personal internet use at work, including use of social media. However, you may wish to clarify what your employees can and can’t say about the company via their own social media accounts.
Another important factor to note is that social media can be very distracting; therefore a policy banning the use of social media for use during work times is recommended. It is also advised that this rule should only apply to the use of social media for personal use; if your policy is too restricting then your company could lose out on business and marketing activities.
Your policy should be user friendly and clear so that staff are able to refer to it and understand it. A way to make sure they understand is to make it part of your induction process when taking on new employees. This gives the employee an opportunity to ask any questions they may have on the subject before they agree to sign it.
If you found this article helpful and wish to discuss a matter further please do not hesitate to get in touch with our business law team in Leicester.Talk to our legal team