There are two very good reasons your company should have a social media policy:

  1. To protect your company’s brand and reputation

Your employees are inevitably associated with your company (the more senior the employee the closer the link to the company), what they say may damage your company’s brand and/or reputation.

  1. To manage your company’s liability

You cannot always control what your employees say on social media, but you can be vicariously liable for what they said.  This risk can only be limited by having a social media policy.

What should be in a social media policy?

  1. Make it clear who is authorised to speak on behalf of your company in the media and on social media platforms.
  2. Protect the confidentiality of your company’s information, including trade secrets and client information.
  3. Regulate the use of your company’s trade marks.
  4. Clearly state what the company deems acceptable methods for business communications. Social media should not be used for business communications between employees, or employees and clients.  Using social media for business communications blurs the line between business and personal.
  5. Provide guidelines for participation in social media (what is your company’s values and how do you expect your employees’ to behave)
  6. Educate your employees about the risks of:
    • posting defamatory statements;
    • copyright infringements;
    • anti-competitive comments; and
    • discriminatory or offending posts.