Establishing a social media policy is no mean feat and keeping it up to date is even harder but if you want to protect the integrity of your company, and employees, it’s an absolute must. Social media and law experts Heather Melick and Ethan Wall offered several top tips drafting an effective social media policy.
- Outline your objectives. Clearly.
Let your employees know what the policy aims to achieve. Advise them that they have the right to use social media but inform them there is also prohibited social media activity. Do so in a specific and clear language.
- Provide specific examples of prohibited conduct.
“By providing a list of specific examples of unacceptable behavior, statements, and activities, an employee can more easily understand the type of activity prohibited under the policy,” writes Melick and Wall.
- Do not be over-restrictive.
This can decrease employee morale and even expose your company to liability. Don’t prohibit employees from identifying themselves with the company either as, according to Melic and Wall; “Employees have a protected right to use the company name and logo while engaged in protected concerted activity.”
- Advise employees of your right to monitor them.
If you’re going to monitor your employee’s social media activity, let them know.
- Tailor your policy to your company.
“There is no ‘one size fits all’ social media policy. You should tailor your policy to the specific needs of your company. For example, if your company has trade secrets then ensure that your policy prohibits employees from posting that type of sensitive information on any social media platform,” writes Melic and Wall.
Entry-level apprentices, a-list celebrities and even c-suite executives have been known to suffer as the result of a poorly thought out social media post but if you’re not giving them set guidelines, you could also be to blame.