You Should Want Your Employees on Facebook – thus the need for a Social Media Policy

By Greg Niemi . May 15, 2014

Do you want your people on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites during business hours?  The answer is absolutely YES, but . . .  there are parameters.

What follows is a sample social media policy which you may copy and revise to best suit the needs of your company.Social Media (In Blog)

Social Media Policy 

a.  Policy:  Social Media is a viable medium for promoting the brand and culture of (insert your company name) to nurture professional relationships with our clients, including our former and prospective clients and our other valued business associates.

This policy is a guideline for (company name) employees to utilize social mediums (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, et al.) in a consistent, unified, coordinated, cohesive, strategic and constructive way.

b.  Spirit of the Policy:  It is the spirit of our policy to be permissive, versus prohibitive, to encourage use of social media by our employees without interfering with primary job responsibilities.

c.  Guidelines:  The guidelines below will help guide us in the proper use of social media in our workplace.

i.  The primary use of Social Media is for us to build business relationships, to foster our professional community, to promote our unique brand while safeguarding our professional image and reputation of (company name).

Use of Social Media as it pertains to our company is for professional use only.  For all of us to present a unified, coordinated and consistent voice while representing our core values of (insert your company values e.g., ethics, integrity, sharing, etc.).

It is the sole discretion of the employee whether an employee participates individually and all employees who do choose to connect with our official (company name) site do agree to abide by this policy.  You are encouraged to use social media but it is not a job requirement except for those designated as social media administrators.

ii.  The official spokespersons for our company are those employees specifically designated as social media administrators.   If you wish to make an official statement to be directly or indirectly to our company site then you must request permission from one of our social media administrators.

iii.  When posting on personal sites connected to our company’s site your personal opinions are exactly that, personal.  All employees who choose to connect to our company’s site need to disclose via a disclaimer on your personal profile that your opinions are your views alone and do not necessarily reflect those of our company.

Sample disclaimer:  Postings made on this account are my own and do not represent (our company name) or its official opinion or position.  Furthermore, your real name, identity and capacity needs to be disclosed.

iv.  Social media is not to be used as an internal business communication tool.  Internal communications are best done one to one; face to face, in conversations, meetings, email or via telephone.

v.  Confidential info should never be disseminated via Social Media into the public domain.  All confidential business information is to be highly guarded and treated as trade secrets so as not to compromise our business, our strategic plans, trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks nor infringement of those intellectual property rights of our members, business partners or co-workers.   Furthermore, never use social medial to divulge or comment on any legal matters.

vi.  Respect individual’s rights to privacy.  Employees have a right to privacy as do all of our customers, former and prospective customers and business partners.  Participation in Social Media is a choice.  Never harass whether it be personal, racial, sexual, religious, political, etc.  Never use profanity, obscenity or disparaging remarks.  Use of cameras and other audio or video recording equipment is strictly prohibited (outside official business).  Remember what happens on the internet stays on the internet.

vii.  Employees are to adhere to all other (company name) policies, guidelines, handbooks, values, laws, etc. Disciplinary consequences are applicable as outlined in employee handbook including progressive discipline, suspension, termination and damages, if applicable.

When in doubt on proper use do ask for guidance from your manager or from one of our designated social media site administrators.

 

Social Media is valuable medium for promoting your company when used properly.  I trust this blog was helpful if you do not already have a social media policy in place.

Greg Niemi

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