Social Media Policy in the Workplace


Social Media – Positive and Negative

Social media can either be a company’s greatest strength or its greatest weakness. By putting in place an easy to follow social media policy and making sure your team know your vision, social media can become a great tool in your marketing arsenal. Negative comments about your business should never be encouraged but when they are coming from inside your company, to the public, these comments have more impact.

Points to Consider

A couple of points to consider when discussing social media in the workplace are:

  • The impact on productivity
  • The potential reputation damage

Social Media and Business Reputation

As an employer your social media policy ought to address these two concerns. Productivity can be greatly hampered by excessive personal social media usage, however, unless you explicitly link your social media policy with a disciplinary process you may be unable to regulate this issue. For example, if excessive social media use is not mentioned in the gross misconduct section of your disciplinary policy you will be unable to deal with it should it arise in your business. It’s important to note that both excessive use AND poor use of social media can be detrimental to your business’ public image. Any insults levelled at your business by employees will be taken far more seriously be consumers because it is coming from INSIDE your enterprise.

Clear Policy

The steps you take to prevent this can vary in severity. Some companies put in place a stringent social media policy which prevents employees acknowledging any connection to
your business. This can be effective as it removes your business from their social media presence and any potential negativity that could taint your brand. Whether or not you install such a strict social media policy it is clear that as an employer you should aim for specificity in whatever policy you put in place. A wide and vague policy will make it difficult to address and deal with the negative use of social media.

Take Action

  • Your social media policy should specify what sites employees are allowed to use at work and if personal access is limited to lunch hours
  • Be aware when mixing business and personal lives, if in doubt about posting – don’t!
  • Establish the ownership and passwords for all social media accounts·
  • Make your social media policy easy for employees to access at any time. This will ensure that they are clear on what they can and can’t post.