How to Create a Social Media Policy in the Workplace

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Much has been written about social media – from new and existing social networks and its effects on modern communication, to best practices and trends to watch out for year after year.

 

As its popularity grows, so does its influence on many aspects including its impact in the workplace.

 

Nowadays, a number of organizations are fast acknowledging the importance of formalizing a social media policy as part of the general office guidelines. If you are one of them, here are some tips to guide you when starting to create your company’s social media policy:

Designate a team to create the policy

Usually, this task falls into the hands of the communications department or sometimes, the public relations team. Whether or not you have an existing group of people to assign the project to, remember that the members of this group should be knowledgeable on various aspects of social media including its technical facet.

 

You could pick each member from various departments (human resource, IT, public relations, administrative) so each member can bring their specific expertise to the table once they start crafting the policies.

Establish limitations

Is your policy intended specifically for internal use of social media or will you include external use as well (ex: using FB at home or ranting at Twitter about an immediate superior during wee hours of the morning)? How employees use social channels such as Facebook or Twitter personally is just as crucial as how they use it while they are in the office.

 

At a time when almost everybody’s Facebook timeline includes their past and present employment, it definitely pays to at least issue an official memo to employees about how to properly conduct themselves in their online social circles. This should serve as a reminder that their personal actions may have serious implications at work if they’re not careful.

Confidentiality clauses should extend to social media usage

Discourage employees from sharing sensitive company information through social media, as this could signal a breach against the company’s confidentiality and nondisclosure policies. Employees should be held accountable for any private or proprietary company information that will be disclosed without due consent from the organization that owns such pertinent data.

Some traditional rules may apply even to a new technology

Friction among employees sometimes extends to social media. Properly lay down the rules for defamation, plagiarism, and libel among others, and set appropriate measures to ensure that such actions are avoided at all cost.

Have your legal department review the clauses

Certain labor laws might clash with your social media policy, that’s why it’s best to have your legal department run through the document to avoid getting lawsuits from employees in future.

 

365Outsource offers robust suites of social media solutions for small businesses and enterprise level organizations globally. Call us today for a more detailed discussion of our services.

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