This social media policy:
Social media is a fact of life. We use it to connect with friends, family and colleagues. We use it to share news, photos and thoughts. We use it to engage with the world around us, and increasingly we use it at work. However, the use of social media must not negatively impact an organization’s production or performance.
All work-related activities regarding social media need to be controlled. Accordingly, an organization needs to define clear procedures and limitations with social media use within work hours.
The exception would be when authorisation has been provided for work-related use, or there has been approval given for social media use during working hours.
A social media policy should be for the mutual protection of an organization, its employees and its representatives. It should not be intended to prevent, discourage or unjustifiably limit the expression of personal opinions or online activities.
However, employees should consider company-related social media posts to be public, despite the availability of privacy options on social media platforms, it may still be possible for content to be shared beyond the intended recipients.
When creating a social media policy some key aspects need to be considered for inclusion in the policy, some examples are outlined below.
Employees of an organization should always maintain professionalism and ethical behaviour when using social media. This is to maintain public confidence in the company’s operations and services.
Additionally, to protect the reputation of an organization and its employees all persons should adhere to several key social media standards, for example:
Typically, for most businesses, personal use of social media use will only be permitted during scheduled breaks or outside of work hours, unless authorisation has been provided for work-related use. Any use of personal social media at work should not negatively impact production or performance.
Procedures for disciplinary action should be included in a social media policy. This may include a verbal warning, training or even termination of employment for a serious policy breach.
Effective social media can help businesses of all sizes connect with customers and create a more personal relationship with them.
By using social media strategies, businesses can interact with customers in a more informal setting, which can lead to increased customer loyalty. Additionally, social media can help businesses to build brand awareness with an online presence.