Social media

Social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter offer fantastic business opportunities, enabling a firm to establish its brand image and reputation, as well as to collect intelligence on markets, customer opinions and potential job candidates. The use of social media also comes with various risks for businesses. You need to ensure you have policies in place so you do not fall foul of employment and data protection laws, and that you know how to protect your digital assets from being stolen or shared online.

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What you need to know... 

Social media can provide effective ways of connecting with current and prospective customers, employees and a wide range of people in a business’s network. It also brings issues of compliance with data regulations and ethical guidelines.

What you need to do…

Social media policies should cover:

  • How employees should conduct themselves online
  • Personal use - limit social media use at work to increase productivity
  • Consequences of misusing social media
  • How to protect against cyberbullying and the consequences for the perpetrators
  • Security considerations - using strong passwords, protective software etc.
  • The importance of employees using privacy settings
  • Explain what happens if/when employees leave in terms of LinkedIn contacts etc.

How to deal with social media misuse

  1. Have a clear policy
  2. Ensure everyone understands it and the consequences of misuse
  3. If employees do misuse social media, deal with it quickly and in line with your stated code of misconduct
  4. Take a screenshot of the post before it is taken down, as you may need this for evidence
  5. Investigate thoroughly before jumping to disciplinary action
  6. If employees fail to abide, apply normal disciplinary sanctions
  7. This is a complicated area – if you are not sure, seek advice!