Small Business Tip: Social Media Policies
For those who own, or want to own, a small business: ADOPT SOCIAL MEDIA POLICIES AND INTEGRATE THEM INTO YOUR WORKPLACE.
I had a personal Facebook page for several years but was not an avid user. I heard people talk about using social media for business, but I didn’t understand what that meant. About six months ago, I went to a basic social media class and started a Facebook business page. I learned how to post, use pictures, tag, schedule future posts, use hashtags, etc. Now I post legal tips everyday to my Facebook page and I am slowly building an audience. The idea of a Facebook business page might be old news to some of you and new news to others. The fact of the matter is that a growing business needs to use every avenue available to market and social media seems to be “the” tool to use at the present moment. Social media is also being used to investigate potential employees. It is not uncommon for companies to choose not to hire a potential employee after viewing information posted by or about the employee on social media outlets. And, I am seeing more and more stories about employees being fired due to items posted via social media. Think about what you would do if your employee was posting negative comments about your business while he was at work. Being proactive and adopting and integrating social media polices in your workplace is one way to avoid social media problems.
A lot of workplace rules about social media really are common sense, but they still should be put in writing and reviewed with your employees regularly. Some possible policy considerations include:
- Prohibiting employees’ use of social media at work;
- Prohibiting employees from posting messages or material that could damage your company’s image or reputation;
- Prohibiting employees from posting your company’s confidential material, trade secrets, or proprietary information;
- Prohibiting employees from posting messages that defame or slander management and co-workers;
- Prohibiting employees from posting messages that disparage your company or another company.
My rule of thumb is everything that is posted on the internet is public. I tell employees and employers alike not to rely on “privacy” settings because those seem to change regularly. One of the main reasons social media is used is to expand your “reach.” You get your word out by posting and hoping that others “like” and “share” your posts. But, that “reach” could quickly become your enemy if something is posted about your business that is less than favorable. The old school version would be hitting the send button in an email and the next instant realizing that you sent the email to the wrong person, or worse, hit “reply all” when you wanted to only reply to the sender. So go out and use social media to its fullest advantage. But, you also need to keep a close eye on what you and others are posting about your business.
And, of course, I invite you to check out and “like” my Facebook business page: Facebook – Lori Brown.
I hope the information you find there will be educational and entertaining.
At Hymson Goldstein & Pantiliat, PLLC, we have experienced employment law attorneys who can help you draft social media policies that fit your business.
Written by Attorney Lori Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org
The information contained herein is general information not legal advice. E-mailing attorneys from this website does NOT establish an attorney/client relationship. A formal attorney/client relationship begins after a conflicts check and engagement agreement are signed.
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