Social media has become so commonplace that people forget what gets posted on the Internet remains forever. Every Tweet, for example, is cataloged in the Library of Congress.
Here are five reasons why a social media policy is critical to survival in the digital age.
- Employee misconduct can damage your online reputation and brand. If your employees misuse social media to abuse or harass others while openly displaying that they work for your company on their profile, it can make your company look like it condones their behavior. A policy that prohibits engaging in abusive behavior while identifying themselves as an employee online allows you to take immediate action to protect your brand.
- Without a policy, your employees will decide what's appropriate. Some people don't consider the impact of their posts until it’s too late. By making it clear what, if any, information employees can share about work online, you help prevent any lapses in individual judgment.
- Complaints can easily go viral. Stories and anecdote, like employee rants, can easily go viral, being shared repeatedly by people who find it engaging. Whether their complaints are about management or systemic issues, it should be addressed in house and not online.
- You're protecting your customers as well. There are a number of online forums dedicating to complaining about customers and sharing horror stories about clients for various industries. By putting a policy in place that prevents them from sharing business information, you protect your customers and clients, too!
- You have recourse if an employee talks poorly about the company online. Without a formal policy, the first time an employee trashes your business online, it may not be a termination-worthy offense. By putting a policy in place, you will reduce employee misuse, limit offenses and have recourse in the event that it is violated.
At Talent Evolution, we understand how important it is to craft a policy for your employees. If you need some help, give us a call and we can assist.