Social media is still a relatively new area of culture that a business needs to consider, but there is a growing concern amongst employers about how employees’ social media communications impact the company brand.
With this in mind, take a look at three reasons why it is beneficial for your company to have a social media policy.
1. Protects Company Reputation
A social media policy is designed to protect company reputation; it is a company’s first defence in mitigating risk for both the employer and the employee.
A well-structured policy will help to clearly define what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for an employee to post about a company on their social media channels.
As a general rule, we would advise that employees should not post anything that they wouldn’t put on the front page of a newspaper. Your company’s social media guidelines should emphasise that employees should exhibit a level of professionalism when referring to work on their social channels.
In addition, consider the providing information and advice regarding the following areas:
- Profile Photos – detail examples of an acceptable profile pictures employees should use on their social channels.
- Journalist Requests – advise employees about how to respond if they are contacted by a journalist or a member of the press
2. Create Brand Advocates
All too often companies consider social media policies as a list of restrictions for employees. However, a social media policy is an opportunity to educate employees about the proper way to engage with others online and encourage them to use networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter to share company news, effectively boosting brand awareness.
Your social media policy should advise employees on how they should comment on the company’s social channels, blogs and how to drive traffic to the company website.
If done correctly, you can turn your employees into your biggest brand advocates, which will help drive your social media marketing forward and help you achieve key business goals.
3. No Confusion Over Legal Issues
Having a social media policy helps you clearly explain the consequences of deviating from the rules and is an important element of your operational HR Risk Assurance. If an employee does breach the policy, a company will be able to enforce any penalty stated in your guidelines.
This area of a social media policy can also serve as a reminder to employees that there is no guarantee that their privacy settings will keep all their posts private; people can copy and re-send information very easily.
You Social Media Policy should be referenced in the Employee Handbook so that your team have a good understanding of the requirements. This will help protect them and you as an employer. It is also important that your policy is consistent with your other policies and procedures.
May 1, 2016
By Florence Kenefick