Important Social Media Guidelines for Employees

August 10, 20202:10 pm1469 views
Important Social Media Guidelines for Employees
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Statistics showed that 98 percent of employees use at least one social media site for personal use during workday. Among these employees, half of them are posting updates about their company. While updating positive updates about the company could increase the company’s visibility, employers should establish social media policies and guidelines to protect employees and customers from any wrongful doings. Social media policies and guidelines are used and put in place to ensure that employees know how they should use social media during work time and how to best represent the company online. 

The main goal of social media guidelines in the workplace is to make employees comfortable to use social media at work, so it is important to note that every written policy is meant to encourage employees to participate and not scare them with strict social media rules. 

See also: Bad to Good: How to Develop a Company Policy

Protect company and customer information 

Social media guidelines should contain rules to protect companies and all stakeholders, including customers. Thus, it’s important to let employees know what kind of information is appropriate to share publicly. It would also be good to add specific examples of what employees should or should not reveal to their followers. Employers could provide a list of what kind of content and information is acceptable to share, like company blog articles, press releases, reports, corporate videos, or third party articles that do not mention competitors. On the other hand, employees should strictly avoid sharing confidential information, such as salary reports, office politics, or customer’s data. 

Responsibility and common sense 

Besides being transparent about confidentiality, there should also be rules that cite employee’s responsibility and common sense when using social media at work. Here are a few things to consider in this part. 

  • Never participate in a social media conversation when the topic being discussed might be considered a crisis for the company. Even leaving anonymous comments can be traced back to you or the company through your IP address
  • Refrain from participating in sensitive topics, such as religion or politics. Conversations around that nature often result in heated debates. 
  • Don’t speak “on behalf” of a company. Employees should stick to what he/she knows, if they are not an expert on the subject, refer people to someone who has that expertise.
Ethical standards 

In this rule, employees should be given an understanding that anything shared can be tracked and any false information, rumours, or information used against a company could result in liability. 

The internet is very much permanent and it can be hard to fix something once it is public. Although employees could delete the post after publishing, there is always a possibility of someone taking a screenshot of what they shared. Always take this as a precaution! 

Policy checklist 

To summarise, here is a checklist for you: 

  • Make sure the social media policy covers all legal aspects but is still easy to read and approachable for employees. 
  • Minimise the use of legal jargon – use language your employees use. 
  • Get input feedback from multiple departments, not only from marketing and legal. 
  • Make sure to encourage employees to share and use social media at work. The policy is meant to help not scare employees away. 
  • Once again, design a simple, easy to read document for employees. 
  • Plan on how employers should communicate the rules to employees. 
  • Get feedback and process accordingly – have fun. 

Read also: Important Company Policy that should be in a Written Clause

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