Does Your Company Have a Social Media Policy?
By Allegiance Staffing
January 27, 2014
From Facebook and Twitter to Vine and Snapchat, social media is a part of our lives, infiltrating just about everything we do, including our work. Many companies have developed some kind of social media policy but they vary widely on dictating what employees can and can’t do. Some companies block access to social media sites all together and others provide guidelines on what employees can tweet, post and pin.
In 2012, the National Labor Relations Board acting general counsel ruled that social media policies are “unlawful when they interfere with the rights of employees under the National Labor Relations Act, such as the right to discuss wages and working conditions with co-workers.”
Enforcing a policy that strictly prohibits social media is probably going too far. You may want employees tweeting or posting to Facebook about your company’s products and services. And you don’t want to foster an environment where employees are sneaking off to the restroom to update their Facebook status.
The key comes in creating a reasonable policy and providing social media training so employees understand what’s appropriate when it comes to sharing on social sites. Even if they are posting on personal accounts, they represent the company and are an extension of the brand.
As this article from Forbes.com points out, reason, respect and restraint can dictate how employees handle their social media activities. In a nutshell, ask employees to think about whether they would want their boss, mom or spouse to read what they are posting.
When it comes to policies, make sure you review them every few months. Technology changes rapidly and new social sharing sites and tools spring up almost daily. Even if you don’t have specific language regarding every single social site, you’ll want to at least be familiar with them.
Social media policies and training shouldn’t just extend to employees but should cover how to interact and engage customers, potential customers and especially complaints that might come in via social media and review sites. Employees need to know how to respond to those and what’s appropriate.
Just like other forms of training, offer social media refresher courses on a regular basis and encourage discussion about social media best practices. This is still an emerging area and a healthy, open dialogue is your best course of action when it comes to staying on top of trends and heading off potential problems.