Why Are Social Media Policies So Important?

More people are connecting online now than ever before, as many of us have turned to online platforms to keep in touch with friends and family throughout the pandemic. Having employees proficient in social media can be useful to your business, creating opportunities to engage with new clients and customers and sharing services through business social media accounts. However, it is important social media platforms and accounts are used responsibly whether personal or business, to avoid damage to brand reputation and to protect your business.

How to manage the use of social media?

A social media policy can be a useful resource to set rules around the usage of social media in work, helping set clear expectations and highlighting  to ensure they act in line with company policies. A social media policy can also be used to protect your business against legal and security issues regarding social media.

What can be included in a social media policy?

Different companies have different policies regarding the use of social media. Below we set out a list of some of the content that could be included in your workplace social media policy.

  • Usage. Although you cannot manage what employees are sharing on their personal social media platforms, a social media policy can help manage an employee’s usage of social media during working hours, by forbidding personal use of social media during these hours unless essential to their job role.
  • Disclaimers. Disclaimers can be useful to encourage transparency online. Employers can request that employees add disclaimers to their social media profiles or to individual posts, to make it clear to other users of the platform that the employee’s posts are not a representation of their employer.
  • Confidentiality. Provide clarity around what company information is confidential and remind employees that such information should not be shared on social media or to a third party. Remember, as soon as information is posted online you can never be sure where it ends up or who sees it.  
  • Reiterate other policies that should be adhered to even online. Encourage staff to think before they type, remind employees about the importance of adhering to other policies whilst using social media such as anti-harassment to avoid any discriminatory or offensive content aimed at colleagues or clients. 
  • Disciplinary consequences. Ensure your employees are aware of the consequences of breaching your company social media policy and set out what disciplinary actions may be taken.

Social media policies should be revisited and updated regularly. If you need further support on workplace social media policies or have any other HR enquiries contact us at [email protected]