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Social Media Policies for Employees

social media policies for employeesWe’re living in the age of social media.  It’s everywhere, and (almost) everyone is on it.  Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Reddit, Imgur, etc. do you know what people are saying about your business?

Other than doing your best to provide exceptional products and services, you really can’t control what the general public says about your business.  If someone does say something negative about your business, read my blog on how to handle negative reviews.

You can however control how your employees talk about your business.  This is a new type of stipulation that can be worked into the employee introductory handbooks that they are given upon hire, and that they must sign.  The handbooks outline the basic guidelines required of employees.  But does your handbook say anything about social media policies?

Why Do We Need Social Media Policies for Employees?

The guidelines for social media at the workplace will be different for different businesses.  While a retail clothing store may allow employees to post about the new arrivals and sales, a dentist’s office may prohibit posting as they deal with sensitive client information.

Example: two employees are at the front desk of a dental office.  They are posing for a picture to post on social media.  Depending on the image, the tone of the comment and the interpretation of the general public, that post could garner a lot of unwarranted attention.

Now, with the same example.  What if there is a patient being shown in the background of that image?  Later that day the patient or someone they know stumble across this unauthorized image of them on social media.  That is an unnecessary situation you don’t want to find yourself in. Even if it’s accidental, social media travels quickly.

Establishing Social Media Policies for Employees

The most basic guidelines would be:

  • That no pictures should be taken on company premises without express permission from the manager or business owner. The business premises is private property.
  • An employee should not post negative or harmful comments or opinions about the place of employment. If there are concerns, they should be brought to management first to be resolved.
  • Personal cell phones should not be used during regular business hours (unless required by the position)
  • Business computers should not in any situation be used for personal emails, social media accounts, time-wasting websites or any use other than what is required for the position.

Although the above states some negatives about employees and social media use, it can also be great for a business.

Allowing Certain Employees Admin Access to Social Media

As a business owner it can be hard to find time to post to social media.  This is when having an enthusiastic manager or supervisor who enjoys social media can come in handy.  There are ways to allow employees to have full or limited access to your social media accounts.

Social Media Streams & Types of Access Available

  • Website (for blogging & project updates): you can allow “contributor” access where they can only publish posts & content to certain areas. They also can’t delete someone else’s work.
  • Facebook: You can control the admin level type and what types of actions the employee can take
  • Instagram: Employee gets full access
  • Pinterest: Employee gets full access
  • Twitter: Employee gets full access

While this may save the business owner time, it’s still important to have a signed written agreement with the employee outlining the terms of their actions on social media on behalf of the company.  Social media is a direct connection between the general public and the business.  So it’s very important that you’re being represented appropriately.

Do you have any questions about social media policies for employees?  Or want to know ways to streamline your social media while keeping access to employees restricted?

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Until next time,

Deanna

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