Social media is a powerful communication tool that can connect people all across the world. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram – just to name a few – offer powerful ways to share information and connect with people both personally and professionally. But sometimes, the personal and professional lines blur together. When there is no boundary between personal and professional representation, companies may spend more time cleaning up the blunders made by employees than they ever would crafting a social media policy in the first place.
Creating a simple social media policy for employees takes the guesswork out of determining what is appropriate to share on company and private accounts. Keeping these two entities separate may seem like common sense, but spelling out a policy will help protect the company as well as the employees. Consider these guidelines when crafting your company’s social media policy:
When there is no boundary between personal and professional representation, companies may spend more time cleaning up the blunders made by employees than they ever would crafting a social media policy in the first place.
Across the United States, companies like Cisco, Chrysler and Apple have fired employees for social media posts in which the employee either defamed the brand, spoke ill of customers or complained about the job. While no one was fired in the 2014 U.S. Airways retweet blunder, the crude image that the company accidentally retweeted rather than flagging as inappropriate just shows the need for a closer look at how social media is handled in the workplace. With the high volume of replies required of large companies like U.S. Airways, mistakes are inevitable.
Rules should be in place, however, to set expectations for behavior and consequences. It is best to prevent these occurrences from happening in the first place by setting clear rules. Creating a social media policy will help set clear guidelines and expectations to protect both the company and the individual employee, no matter what size the company may be.
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