Should my company have a Social Media policy?
It’s a great idea to draft a company policy on employee Social Media usage. Many employees are posting or tweeting about their companies on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, creating negative business images and actually, in some cases, putting companies at risk.
Even if employees are logging in on their personal computers at home companies can still impose certain policies regarding proprietary information, types of postings and disclaimers.
You don’t want to find yourself like this North Carolina Domino’s pizza: An employee stuffed a piece of cheese up his nose and then placed it on a sandwich to be delivered to a customer. A co-worker who observed the incident posted the video on You Tube. More than half a million hits later the health department showed up on Domino’s doorstep and the company had a massive PR nightmare.
So, as Domino’s learned, there is power in social media – and power amongst those who use it, even when harm is unintentional or postings are “for fun.” So it is prudent to have policies and procedures that protect your company from the potential ramifications of social networking.
The following guidelines for drafting a policy on employees’ use of Twitter, Facebook or other social media tools are derived from a Society for Human Resource Management report:
- Don’t let personal use of twitter or other social networking sites interfere with work.
- Employees must get company approval to use Twitter to conduct business. (Note: This isn’t far-fetched. Many organizations have successfully incorporated Twitter into their marketing strategies)
- Any use of the organization’s name, trademarks, logos or other intellectual property must be approved.
- If employees make personal comments about any aspect of the organization’s business, their profiles must carry a disclaimer that the views expressed are their own, and not the organization’s.
- Tweets may not disclose confidential or proprietary information.
- Employees should use common sense about what they post,