Does My Company Need A Social Media Policy?
Whether you are a large corporation, non-profit organization or a small business owner, let’s all face the fact that you need a Social Media Policy. You can try to ignore it, refuse to engage in it, but the fact of the matter is that millions are using it so although you may have chosen not to use Social Media in your organization, chances are your employees are on Facebook, Twitter and a variety of other online sites so Social Media can still affect you one way or another. Do yourself a favor and draft a policy because:
It’s simply not good practice to leave things to chance. I’m notorious for preferring the proactive approach versus the reactive approach. How can employees know where you stand and what is acceptable or unacceptable unless you establish those guidelines? Establishing a simple set of guidelines explaining your expectations for communication on both company social media sites and non company social media sites should make it clear.
You need to keep in mind that common sense isn’t always so common. Even the best of us need to be reminded at times to exercise our judgment. This is becoming exceedingly important as information becomes increasingly easy to share. Whether at work or away from work, when an employee’s affiliation is known, presumed or can be easily found their posts or comments can affect your organization or become a reflection of your organization. You do not want any confidential or proprietary information posted whether intentional or not.
Privacy concerns are increasing and those concerns should be respected. You do not want an employee to cite or make reference to a client without their permission. This is extremely important and can be increasingly so depending on the type of services or products you are providing. Unless there is permission directly from the client, do not provide specific information or details that can somehow identify that client.
Following Copyright Law is an important part of any online presence. Especially, in the case where employees may be posting on company sites or even non company sites that are industry related; you want to ensure that everyone is clear on the Copyright Law for text, images and other media.
A simple disclaimer is often overlooked. With the increase in blogging, it is not too far of a stretch that your employees may have their own personal blog. Again, their affiliation with your organization is implied or may even be posted in any given online profile they have so if they are creating posts you want to be sure they have a disclaimer that states their site is a personal site and in no way reflects the opinions of their employer.
Are you still skeptical?