The lines between personal and professional are clear as mud, as we like to say in the South.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram are all places we socialize with one another… just as we would on a public sidewalk, church foyer or our living room.
With the lines so blurred, businesses should be concerned with what their employees post on social.
With 74% of all adult internet users on social networking sites, it’s an inescapable part of our lives, whether we are in the four walls of the office or not.
According to Pew Research, 24% of workers are using social media to network, 17% to strengthen relationships with co-workers, and 34% are checking in to take a mental break during work.
How do companies acknowledge the important role of social media and the impact it can have?
It’s called a Social Media Policy.
Social Media Policy Best Practices
A social media policy not only protects business owners, but it also helps everyone understand the ways social media can be used to help achieve the companies goals.
Your customized social media policy should meet the needs of your company. It can and should be as simple or detailed as required.
Every good social media policy should start with a few basic common-sense items.
- Use common sense and engage in common courtesy. Even private settings do not guarantee privacy when it comes to social media or the internet.
- Employees must represent themselves honestly. All statements made about the employer on social media should be accurate and not misleading.
Additional Policy Considerations:
Depending on your industry, there may be some more detailed criteria to set forth. Examples include –
- All required corporate compliance and regulations and how they pertain to an employee’s individual social media use.
- How the corporate code of conduct might extend to an employees use of social media.
- Employees should refrain from commenting on any legal matters on social media.
If you are tasked with creating a social media policy for your business, there are many resources online. Start with Sprout Social’s “Your Guide to Creating a Social Media Policy“.
Want to check out other companies social media policies for examples in building your own? Social Media Governance has a selection of over 300 social media policies. Financial institutions have published their policies online as well, including Ameris Bank.