Social media has exploded over the last decade. Facebook. Twitter. Snapchat. Instagram. LinkedIn.
How many of your employees are members of one or more of these sites? How many of your employees are active on one or more of these sites? If so, do you know what they post or tweet or snap on those sites? Do you know if customers, investors, or competitors can see what your employees are saying?
Your employees’ presence on these sites could be affecting your business in positive and negative ways. Businesses are still catching up to the consequences that social media holds (and to the numerous social media accounts one employee can hold). Some of those consequences are within a business’s control, while others are not. One area a business can control is the business’s influence on employee use of social media. Although employees can use social media on their own time, every business needs to be aware of how an employee’s statements on social media might be construed as the employer’s statements.
Some simple ways to relay your expectations to employees regarding their social media presence may consist of the following:
- Make sure your employees know your digital market presence. Small boutique businesses and large companies know the impact of a successful social media campaign. If your company relies on one social media source more than the others, make it well-known to your employees of that stronger presence so they can be aware of their actions on that site as well.
- Reaffirm your employees’ knowledge of the culture of your business. Your employees should understand the message and mission of your business. By re-affirming your employees’ understanding of both, you are in a better position to influence your employees’ thought process before they make their next post to social media.
- Consider what mediums are used the most in obtaining new customers or clients. The reason for so many companies asking how a customer heard about them is so the company can determine what mediums are effective. If your business is gaining customers from social media sites, then employee presence and activity on those sites can have positive and negative impacts on your business. Make sure your employees know which social media site has the most impact on your business, and re-emphasize the consequences that can result from the employee’s presence on that site.
- Make your employees aware of how they represent the company. An employee who is required to stay on top of the latest trends, whether it be entertainment or fashion, may be allowed more leeway on social media. If an employee provides professional services, however, there needs to be an emphasis on limits for what is and is not acceptable social media usage. For example, a company offering professional accounting or human resources services may not want employees discussing politics or other divisive topics on social media. That could distract from the message of the company.
If your business would benefit from a social media policy, please visit the Goosmann Law website for an example of a Social Medial Policy. If your business needs further assistance with business development and planning, contact one of our attorneys in Sioux City, Sioux Falls, or Omaha law firms.