Tips for using social media in business

 

Employers need to ensure their and their employees’ output on social media is appropriate both in and out of work hours.

Here are our tips on how to manage social media usage in your business.

There are lots more examples – contact us if you need help in drawing up a suitable policy.

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

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 the responsibility of the company;
  • posts should comply with diversity and equality laws;
  • no information to be given about customers or employees online; and
  • no negative or offensive posts to be made.

Appoint someone in 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 person 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?

Do your employees understand the social media policy? Do they understand why it is important to exercise caution on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn even when using them in their private capacity? Introduce a term that employees have to review and sign the social media policy annually;

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.

Finally, ensure your insurance policy covers your business for social media activities.

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.