Social media is part of our daily lives; it allows us to reach out and connect with people all over the world. It is an extremely powerful tool for expressing our opinions and thoughts. While this can be quite liberating for individuals, it can be detrimental for firms.
To protect the reputation of your firm and prevent negative media attention, endorsing a social media policy is necessary. Time and thought needs to be put into this policy as expecting employees to behave a certain way on their private profiles is heading into murky water.
A social media policy ensures employees are respecting the firm yet does not encroach on their right to freedom of speech.
Consider the following when developing a social media policy for your firm:
Make it a live document
The policy document should be a live one. The way in which we use social media platforms is ever-evolving and thus, the document should be too. The policy should be reviewed regularly, particularly when new trends in the way social media is used.
It should correspond with the core values of the firm
The way in which employees present themselves on social media should mimic the core values of the firm. If for example, your firm works with animals, then content of employees hunting would be a breach of these values. Ensure employees are absolutely clear about what these core values are and that content contradictory to these values is not acceptable on public platforms.
Clearly outlined process of dealing with inappropriate content
The policy needs to have clear a procedure detailing what course of action will be taken should an incident occur. Employees need to understand possible repercussions and what posting inappropriate content could mean for their career.