There has been a lot in the news around England Cricketer, Ollie Robinson, being suspended for tweets he sent when he was 18 years old. Is it right that he should be punished in his current position for something that happened nearly 10 years ago and should it be impacting his current career?
Whether you agree or disagree with the above outcome, it does raise the awareness for businesses to ensure they have efficient social media policies in place for employees. Here are our reasons why…
No matter how locked down public personal social media accounts are perceived to be, it has the potential to be seen by someone that could tie the employee back to the company. With this in mind, they need to understand that this means anything they post on social media or elsewhere online may reflect on them and the company.
An effective social media policy will identify what is, and is not, appropriate for employees to post about the company on social media. The policy will state what is expected from employees and outline how they should represent the business. It should highlight how the employee and company shouldn’t be portrayed on social media to avoid the company from coming into disrepute. It should remind employees that anything posted online – even posts marked as private – can, and will, be used against them and their employer. This will prevent any potential full-blown PR crisis.
Your social media policy shouldn’t simply be a list of dos and don’ts. Provide clear guidelines to help employees understand ways they can use social media to help achieve business goals. Employees are your main advocates for your business, give them relevant material that they can easily share online. Remind employees they should be polite and professional when representing the company for business messages.
These guidelines should outline what is considered confidential information that should not ever be communicated on social media. Clear guidelines on what is acceptable and considered public information about its business and its employees. This section should include the consequences for sharing company secrets on social media.
You can’t expect your employees to know immediately how to use social media and what’s expected. Providing a written social media policy with guidelines doesn’t mean your employees have necessarily digested the information. Ensure you deliver adequate training on what is expected from employees. Use real-life examples of what happens when people don’t follow the rules and/or don’t use common sense.
Clearly identify which social media use in the workplace is acceptable and which is not. Explain the consequences of deviating from the rules and if that includes the “up to and including termination” language say it here. This is no time for ambiguity and all employees must agree to policy and guidelines in place.
More people are using social media for business purposes because it’s an effective way to engage with your audience. An up-to-date and active social media policy is as essential today as telephone and personal computer policies were in earlier times. People will no doubt make mistakes. However, an effective social media policy and adequate training will minimise these mistakes. Ultimately preventing the company from coming under any disrepute.
Do you need support in social media training to support your employees and ensure they are comfortable with what is expected from them? Get in touch with Capella Synergy to see how we can help.