A social media policy is a necessity in the modern age. Not only do customers look to your company’s social media policies for engagement and interaction, they look at your individual representatives — your employees — as well.
Your company’s social media policy doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should cover the basics. Social media develops quickly, and so should your company’s policy. Above all, it should be straightforward and sensible — a guide your employees can easily digest and implement.
What Is a Social Media Policy?
A social media policy is basically an outline of how your company expects your employees to act online. It includes protections to secure the online reputation of your brand.
It’s All About Image — Make it a Professional One
Online, image is everything. What your employees say, how they say it and how they present themselves all contribute to your brand’s image. Is it a professional one?
Less-than-professional profile pictures, slurs or harassment are not behaviors you’d like to see from your employees, and a policy can help you communicate why. Talk to your employees about maintaining professionalism online, as their online presence is an extension not just of their image, but the image of your brand.
Defend Against Legal Threats
Help employees understand copyright laws — they must credit the right sources if they publish photos or content that isn’t their own. Make sure they know that anything they post can hurt the company, even if they have the best intentions. When in doubt, make sure they know who to contact to verify that a post is OK before they hit “publish.”
Emphasize Personal Responsibility
At the end of the day, a social media policy is only that — a policy. Your employees choose to follow the guidelines or not. Make sure they realize that your company is trying to encourage personal responsibility. Nearly everything posted online is permanent and ultimately, each person is responsible for the content they publish.
Be Aware of Confidentiality
Make sure employees know that they can’t discuss any confidential information about any product that’s in development or any projected earnings/sales on social media. This could put your company at risk and it can sabotage success. Plus, violating confidentiality agreements is a fireable offense. Try to communicate to your employees that if they wouldn’t want what they write to become a national headline, don’t say it!
At WTA, Inc., we help businesses establish policies that make sense. Whether you need employee handbook advice or training programs, you can talk to our team. As a full-service professional employment organization, we are here to help with all things related to human resources.