Small businesses need to take the time to develop a social media policy to ensure that they can stay in good standing in the public. Even the smallest details can make a difference in your company’s public image, and employees need to understand that they represent their companies on their social media, even if they are posting about nothing related to the company.
What to Include in the Policy
Employees need to understand what they can and can’t post about their company and what measures could be taken if these rules aren’t followed. Obviously, employees shouldn’t be allowed to badmouth the company or other employees on social media. Rules could also include what kinds of profile pictures employees can post to company pages. Maybe your company doesn’t want employees showing pictures of drinking at company parties. The company really has to think about what kind of image that the social media can bring to the public. Also include what employees can say about competitors and clients on social media.
Let Employees Know New Policies
Many companies have official employee codes of conduct. Many top social media blogs show that social media policies should go into these codes of conduct. No matter if these policies are in your codes of conduct, or stated in their own document, bring up the new policies in specified meetings to ensure that employees understand the codes of conduct. Employees need to understand the business and legal implications of social media use and why the new policies are so important.
Watch and Enforce New Policies
Appoint a trusted member of your staff to watch social media among employees. Depending on the size of your company, you may need to appoint more than 1 person to watch the social media. Have these appointed individuals let you know immediately when infractions on the new policy occur and measures are taken to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Large and small companies need to develop these social media policies for their employees to protect themselves in the future. Social media is going away anytime soon, and companies need to prepare for the future. A great example of a sample policy is provided by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It is a great way to companies to get an idea of social media policy and how they can get started. SHRM Social Media Policy