Protect your Reputation with a Social Media Policy.
Posted by Trindy Oakley
Social Media can be a fun and exciting way to engage your customers and the wider community. As a business it could become your greatest asset or you your biggest downfall. No matter the size of your business, whether it is a start-up or a global entity, it is vital to be fully aware of your reputation management requirements.
Publishing content on the internet is forever, coupled with the ease in which it can go viral makes it vital that all business’ provide comprehensive guidelines and policies for the way employees are to use social media.
A perfect example of what happens when a business doesn’t provide guidance to their employees is this storify article by David Hall.
We’ve all heard the stories of employees posting inappropriate content on Facebook that caused loss of employment, but what about the potential to expose the employers to risk such as loss of and/or disclosure of confidential information, discrimination claims, unfair dismissal, reputation threat or defamation?
There is a plethora of resources available for the creation of internet, blog and social media policies for the work place. If you are interested in writing your own I would highly recommend looking at Social Media Governance otherwise there are numerous social media professionals that can be engaged.
I would suggest that your Social Media Policy cover at minimum the following areas:
Definition of Social Media: Employees need to be aware of exactly what your business defines as “social media”. Ensure you make it clear that the policy is not just limited to the sites and types of media that you list i.e. Facebook or Twitter, but also covers a definitive explanation of digital communication tools.
What is acceptable and what is not: The policy should guide employees in what will be considered appropriate and inappropriate communications on social media:
- anything that could be viewed as derogatory towards, or disparaging of, colleagues, customers or clients;
- gives away or discusses your business’ confidential information;
- has the potential to bring your business into disrepute;
- undermines their effectiveness or productivity at work (eg. through excessive use).
Be sure to ensure that the employee understand that they are brand ambassadors and are encouraged to assist building the brand online. There is no greater advocate than a passionate employee. Set the guidelines such as time online at work, what can and can’t be said and they will happily assist you build your business online.
Consequences of breaching the Social Media Policy: Remind employees of breaching the terms of the policy which may involve disciplinary action or indeed termination of employment.
For further information and guidance feel free to contact Trindy Oakley at Oakenco Administration.
About Trindy OakleyI provide Virtual Assistant services to Small Businesses within the IT Industry. I care about reducing the time you spend on administrative tasks, so you can concentrate on the revenue generating aspects of your business!
Posted on March 7, 2012, in Blogging, Facebook, Google, Google+, Small Business, Social Media Marketing, Twitter and tagged blogging, Facebook, Google, reputation management, Social Media Marketing, social media policy, Twitter. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.