Social media can be a double edged sword for an organization’s online presence. While posting positive updates about the company could increase visibility, employers should establish social media policies and guidelines to prevent employees from any digital wrongdoings that might harm the organization’s image. Does this call for monitoring of employees’ social media?
Statistics showed that 98 percent of employees use at least one social media site for personal use during the workday. Among these employees, half of them are posting updates about their company. Concerns about what employees post online are one of the reasons many businesses use social media monitoring to manage bad statements made by employees that have an influence on the overall company brand image. This makes room for social media guidelines to be established.
How Social Media Guidelines Work
Social media guidelines are developed and implemented to ensure that employees understand how to use social media at work and how to effectively represent the company online. The main goal of this guideline in the workplace is to make employees feel comfortable using social media at work, so it is essential to note that every written policy is supposed to promote employees to participate rather than scare them away with strict regulations.
The guidelines should include practices to protect companies and all stakeholders, including customers. Therefore, it is essential to educate employees on the types of information, that are related to the organization, that can and cannot be shared publicly. It is also beneficial to include specific examples of what employees should and should not disclose to their followers. Employers can give a list of acceptable types of content and information to share, such as company blog entries, press releases, reports, corporate videos, or third-party articles that do not mention competitors. Employees, on the other hand, should avoid discussing confidential material such as pay reports, internal politics, or client data.
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In leveraging social media, there should also be guidelines that emphasize employee accountability and common sense. Here are a few topics to think about in this area.
Socializing the social media guidelines for employees, which can seem to be too demanding or restrictive for their internet persona, can be dealt through these approaches:
Whatever circulates in the internet is actually irreversible and it is difficult to fix something once it has gone public. Although employees may erase the post once it has been published, there is always a potential that someone has taken a screenshot of what they have posted. Instead of inducing fear, cultivate a strong communication connection with employees to better understand that social media guidelines are meant to protect not only the company, but to protect their personal reputation too.