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Best Practices in Setting Social Media Policies for Employees

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The social media landscape offers incredible chances for establishing a positive online presence for your company – but participating in this forum could backfire if not closely controlled. Therefore, as you build your company, you need to establish social media policies that help protect your brand from any digital missteps.

With helpful guidelines in place, your employees can actively participate in social media without risk of tarnishing your brand or disrupting your operations.  

Set Out to Protect Your Brand

Your brand image influences how the world perceives your company and its core values – And social media has the power to tarnish your reputation in an instant. The second an errant tweet or post hits the social media highway, angry responses could come flooding in before you have a chance to respond. Therefore, it is important to establish protective policies designed to protect your brand image from the very start. Create guidelines that help establish the voice and mission of your company for all your social media posts. Furthermore, make sure that your social media expert always observes journalistic principles of professionalism and integrity to keep your brand image healthy and thriving.

Establish Official Lines of Communication

To fully take advantage of the power of social media, establish official social media accounts and assign their control to an experienced employee. A dedicated employee should monitor the accounts to act fast if brand mentions spread false information or threaten to damage your reputation. All official statements should only come through these accounts, not employees operating outside this department, to create a cohesive company voice. Your social media specialist should always represent your brand in a positive, helpful manner to protect your company’s reputation.

Create Guidelines for Social Media Conduct

With the exception of your social media specialist, your employees will not officially speak for the company, but their conduct could still reflect poorly on you. In your social media guidelines for employees, outline limitations on posting hateful or dishonorable content on personal accounts. You will need to decide whether your employees can disclose their affiliation with your company or not while posting on their own social media accounts. If you allow your employees to disclose themselves as such, establish disclaimers that free the company from repercussions and outline content posting restrictions for sensitive information.

Determine Usage Restrictions for Work Hours

With how fast the social media landscape changes, your employees’ attention could wander to those digital realms far too often while on the clock. To control the usage of social media on company hours, outline your usage restrictions for work hours in your employee guidelines. An effective approach allows employees to determine when and how long to utilize social media as long as it does not affect job performance. You could also fully ban social media usage on company computers to limit usage to break periods and off hours. You will need to reflect on your workplace atmosphere and employee performance to find the right usage restrictions for the use of social media during work hours.

Continue to Update Your Social Media Guidelines for Employees

Your social media guidelines for employees will likely evolve as the internet landscape shifts and changes with the trends. You should also freely make changes as you see fit to protect your brand image and company reputation. Continual reviews of your employees’ work performance will help you determine if you need to further restrict social media usage during work hours. As you make changes, remain attentive to the impact your guidelines have on your social media presence, company operations and employee morale. Utilize employee and client feedback to adjust your approach to help your company remain successful in the fast-paced world of social media.

Do you need assistance establishing guidelines for your employees, then communicating them and enforcing them? Let's talk, we can help.

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