Posts Tagged "social media policy"

Social media policies and discipline

By on Oct 13, 2011 in Blog, Social Media, social media behavior | 0 comments

  One of the problems that businesses face, when integrating social media into their marketing, networking, etc is the issue of discipline, specifically the discipline that is applied to employees using social media for personal uses or for unprofessional activity as it applies directly to work. While companies can fire employees for improper use of social media, fired employees have been able to successfully sue businesses because their social media policy was overly broad and didn’t provide specific information on how to discipline or fire employees. I think the following needs to be considered when developing discipline measures for employees in your social media policy. 1. Severity of discipline. What warrants having someone fired does differ from someone making a mistake. Companies tend to err toward the harsher side of things, without really considering if such treatment is actually deserved. Clearly if an employee is gossiping about clients or other employees in a slanderous manner, that person should be fired, especially given the public medium of social media. But if that person made a personal comment on a business account, and the comment can be deleted, it could simply be a mistake, at which point the person should be educated, instead of fired. 2. You can’t control what people will or won’t say, but you can provide guidelines. A company should provide guidelines, both in terms of what not to say and what can be said. If employees see examples of what not to say on social media, as it pertains to work, as well as what can be said, it provides them a better understanding of what the company stance is as it pertains to social media and where social media fits into the company culture. 3. Disclaimers can be useful and companies should consider that employees do have their opinions which may differ from the company. As long as an employee is willing to put a disclaimer in place, and also is respectful while presenting a contrary opinion, then the company should respect the employees voice. Again, guidelines can help the employee figure out how to accomplish this. 4. Describe consequences in detail. Don’t leave anything to chance. Make it clear what actions will cause what consequence....

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Best practices and discipline in social media policies

By on Nov 23, 2010 in Social Media | 0 comments

At a talk I recently attended, one of the panelists made a point that social media policy is about disciplinary measure and that best practices are a separate subject. From a legal standpoint, I see the perspective of the panelist. It’s important that policy explains and expresses the discipline measures and consequences that can occur if social media is used incorrectly. But I also think that best practices should be included in social media policies and here’s why: When employees get the social media policy and read it and just see disciplinary measures and requirements for what they need to do in order to be on social media, they may not feel that the organization is actually empowering them to be on social media. A policy does need to provide clear standards, and explanations for how those standards will be executed, but including best practice guidelines in the policy also provides employees an understanding of what the organization thinks of as effective methods for implementing social media in the workplace. Best practices also shows that the organization has thought out carefully where social media fits into everything else they do. Employees can look at best practices and get some guidance on what do, which is just as important as what not to do. In fact, telling employees what they can do provides clarity on what they can’t do and why, because it demonstrates what is considered best practice. For any organization to adopt social media, there needs to be an understanding of why they are doing social media and how it will help the organization communicate to people who are interested in what they have to say. The organization needs to consider not just what’s best for it, but also how to empower employees so that they are knowledgeable about social media and can use it professionally to represent the organization to the best of their abilities. Best practices ideally includes some guidelines on how to represent the organization as well as what are considered good topics to post on. Best practices may even include tips on profile management, and transparency in social media. More than anything though, best practices should provide employees an awareness of how the organization...

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Four tips for social media policies

By on Sep 15, 2010 in business, Social Media | 0 comments

As businesses develop social media business plans, it’s important to consider what types of policies should be introduced into the plan that allow the business to effectively engage in social media while at the same time respecting company culture and proprietary information. Businesses need to also consider employee participation on social media when developing policies in order to make sure that employees are on the same page as the business. The following tips are useful ones to keep in mind as a business develops its social media plan. 1: Develop an escalation policy for dealing with negative...

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How to help your employees with social media

By on Aug 9, 2010 in business, Social Media, social media behavior | 0 comments

As more and more employees get involved on social media sites, its important to know how to explain social media to them, as well as encourage their use of social media in a way that also considers proprietary information, and speaking positively about the company. At the same time, it’s also important to respect that each employee has his/her own voice and that s/he will be talking about every day life, including work, on social media. So what can you do to help your employees with social media? 1. Don’t tell them to talk about the company all the time, unless they happen to be your social media manager. Do ask them to be positive about the company, fellow employees, and clients of the company, or refrain from saying anything. 2. Don’t micro-manage everything they do on social media. Not only is it weird to have a boss looking over your shoulder, but chances are they’re mainly using social media to stay up on what’s happening with friends and family. Respect their privacy, as you would hope they would yours. 3. Make sure employees know what they can’t do on social media, but also encourage them to be active participants. For example, you may not want an employee to set-up a company social media account without checking in and explaining how it’ll be used, but it is good for that employee to actively comment and participate on forums as him/herself. Remember that your employees do represent your business. Trust them to represent it, but also provide guidelines that them. You could include suggestions for how they can use different social media sites successfully, or tips for how to blog better…but most importantly encourage them to be active and be themselves instead of trying to repress their voices. What do you do to help your employees with social...

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