Small businesses across the country are facing the challenge of how to implement Social Media Policies for their employees. The risks of not having one range from petty annoyance to major breaches of confidentiality to costly sexual harassment lawsuits. How can you appropriately respond to this challenge? What are fair and effective guidelines? How can you create a policy that works for your situation?

Get started Start Your Social Media Policy Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

The Purpose of a Social Media Policy

A Social Media Policy serves three essential purposes. First, it protects your business. The policy should be aimed at protecting confidentiality about proprietary business information such as intellectual property, business processes, partners, financial information and competitive intelligence. Second, it should be designed to protect your business’s reputation from negative aspersions by employees. And third, the policy should be aimed at mitigating the risks involved in how employees treat each other, protecting against issues such as bullying, harassment or invasion of privacy.

The Reach of a Social Media Policy

In some businesses, social media plays an important role in the day-to-day corporate culture (e.g., wikis and blogs for building in-house knowledge bases, or following tends). In other businesses, such as manufacturing or construction work, it plays almost no role in the job-related activities of employees, but a policy may still be essential. In either case, it’s understandable that the company would have guidelines about the use of social media in the course of business.

But what about an employee’s off-site activity--on their own time and on their own computer? Social Media Policies can and should address that aspect as well, to the extent that it affects the employee’s performance at work or the company’s business interests.

Another important thing to consider is whether or not you need a policy for a specific social media channel or if you are ok with a more general policy. For example, it may make more sense to have a dedicated Twitter policy.

Crafting Your Social Media Policy

Creating a Social Media Policy that makes sense for your particular business can be daunting. There are many issues to consider, and you’ll want to make sure your policy is comprehensive but not over-reaching. We have developed a customizable Social Media Policy for your use. This lawyer-drafted model document can help you create a sensible and professional policy for your small business and increase your protection now.

 

Get started Start Your Social Media Policy Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get started Start Your Social Media Policy Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.