Have you discovered some of your employees posting comments and content relevant to your company in social media without your permission or knowledge?
This rogue behavior is one of the triggers for companies to establish and/or point to existing social media policies or guidelines.
In some cases, it is not even necessary to have a social media policy if companies are faced with having to provide feedback on an employee’s use of social media.
Recently, an employee was fired from his job because of comments he made in social media.
The company did not have a policy on this so it resorted to citing its code of conduct, which is what companies often do in situations where they are unclear on what action to take and they need a reference point in disciplinary situations or where employee feedback or guidance is required.
Here are five key elements that every company should consider when developing their social media policies or guidelines:
1. Don’t turn your thoughts, feelings, or opinions into your company’s. Just because you are having a bad day it does not mean that you can use the company’s Twitter account to tell the world.
2. Don’t breach confidentiality. No need to say more about that.
3. Remember the golden rule: treat others as you would have them treat you. Obvious, but so often forgotten.
4. Remember that it’s “social” media, so be more social and less corporate when you speak. Nobody likes canned posts or conversations that don’t sound human.
5. When in doubt, check your company’s code of conduct. It trumps everything!
This is not an exhaustive list but one that I thought captured the important parts.
If you feel that I have missed something, want to add to it, or have a comment or question, let me know.