Tips for using Social Media in business

Employers need to ensure the businesses own and their employees’ output on Social Media is appropriate both in and out of work hours.

Review your social media activity: what risks does it pose to your business? If necessary, speak to an external expert. 

Prepare and introduce a social media policy that is tailored to your business. Set up a system to ensure this policy is reviewed annually. Separately review the risks for every social media campaign you run.

A social media policy might include, for example, rules providing for:

  • no personal social media usage during working hours;
  • no sharing of any confidential or sensitive material relating to the business;
  • a statement of copyright laws and what can and cannot be posted;
  • disclaimers that posts are personal and not made on the companies behalf;
  • posts should comply with diversity, inclusion and equality laws;
  • no information to be given about customers or employees online without their agreement
  • no negative or offensive posts to be made.

Appoint people within your organisation to take strategic responsibility for:

  • your social media output;
  • for creating a social media policy including guidelines for your staff;
  • monitoring your online profile; and
  • managing the risks including responding promptly to any negative posts.

Identify the people in your business who will prepare the online posts. Do they have managerial and technical support? Do they know and understand the Social Media Policy? Provide separate social media usage guidelines to these individuals.

If you already have a social media policy in place, review the policy to ensure that it reflects the requirements of your business and your employees’ activities.  Does it set out clear guidance for your employees?

Have you checked your employment contracts recently? Do they include a requirement that employees comply with the social media policy and guidance? Does the disciplinary procedure enable you to take appropriate action, including dismissal, if employees breach the social media policy?

Arrange social media training for your team (and by team we mean everyone from juniors, apprentices and trainees to senior managers). Encourage your staff to suggest improvements to your use of social media and your policies.

If you want to know more about avoiding the risks of social media, contact us on 0161 785 3500.  We can also help with drafting an appropriate social media policy and guidelines for your staff.