Employees are often not aware of the harm they can cause to the company's image with their posts on social networks.
When instituted, a company's Social Media Policy regulates its employees' behavior not only for how they use their private profiles, but also the management of the company's social media accounts (if applicable).
A company's Social Media Policy sets the rules for employee behavior on the web and manages the company's social media accounts.
Depending on the context and industry, the Social Media Policy may also be known as:
Social Media Policy Guidelines
Social Media Guidelines
Use of Social Media
Social Networking Policy
Web 2.0/Gov 2.0 Policy
Any company with a presence on social networks would make sense to set guidelines for its employees.
The Social Media Policy protects the company's social media accounts in the form of rules and best practices the employee(s) managing those accounts need to follow.
Your Social Media Policy may also regulate how your employees behave on Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks. For one, they may need to preserve the image of the company by not posting anything unbecoming.
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To create your document, please provide:
Name of the company: This may include the industry and legal structure of the company.
Permission for online activities: The name and position of the person who will give permission.
Employee handbook: Choose if the company has one.
Social media inquiries: The department at which social media inquiries and requests should be directed.
Social Media Policy contact: The contact of the person or department responsible for this policy.
Employee as a social media manager: The name and position of the employee who manages social media profiles on behalf of the company?
Social media contacts ownership: Indicate if social media contacts belong to the company or the responsible employee.
Employee handbook: The company policy manual given to every employee at onboarding. It outlines company-specific information, including social media guidelines.
Social media image: The portrayal or appearance of a company on social media.
Employee acknowledgment: Defines if employees are required to sign an acknowledgment of the company's Social Media Policy.
An authorized company representative can sign the document, but it is not required. If employee acknowledgment is needed, each employee will sign to confirm they have reviewed the Social Media Policy.
After creating the Social Media Policy, it should be reviewed for accuracy.
The policy should then be distributed to all employees, which can be achieved via email or physical copy distribution. If employee acknowledgments are required, all employees will sign and return a copy of the document.
The company would keep a copy of the Social Media Policy in their records. This document doesn't need to be notarized.
• Encourage employees to promote your brand's message
• Maintain a positive company image
• Early response in the event of a breach or crisis
• Prevent security breaches
• Define employees' social media responsibilities
A company’s HR department may use social media to improve the workplace. Social media helps with employee communication in place of communication via email. For one, a McKinsey study showed that social media communication can be up to 25% more effective than email correspondence. Employees should be encouraged to share their accomplishments as it can elevate their engagement.
Employees should be encouraged to use their laptops and smartphones. They should be trained on how to use social media to collaborate and promote the company’s image. Coming up with a Social Media Policy is the first step to integrating social media into the workplace. For example, you can encourage the use of Slack and Dropbox as collaboration tools for communication and data flow between employees. HR should analyze the implementation of social media while conducting occasional surveys of the employees for feedback.
Before using social media in your company, you have to be aware of the legal risks. In this regard, your Social Media Policy should cover:
• Regulatory challenges: Finance, healthcare, government, and some other industries are highly regulated. Your legal counsel should verify and ensure the confirmation of all regulations related to social media posts.
• Crediting sources: Employees should always credit the source of information and images. If not, the company may be at risk of legal claims as they may be copyrighted. Either ask for permission for the picture or use a non-copyrighted substitute.
• Disclaimers: Employees need to know that their opinions on social networks can and will impact the company's image.
• Privacy and disclosure: Employees should know what information can and cannot be shared on social networks.
Scammers and criminals can cause massive damage to both company's reputation and resources. As the number of employees in the company grows, the odds of making mistakes and data breach grow in kind. Online security is vital for all businesses and your Social Media Policy should cover:
• How to keep devices secured and software updated
• Procedures if a data breach is to take place
• How to generate safe passwords for the brand's social media accounts, including the use of two-factor verification
• How to identify possible risk and attacks on social media
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