Are you on Facebook? If your answer is no, you are one of the lone survivors who has managed to hold out from joining the social media world we now live in. There is also a good chance that you won’t be able to hold out much longer, as social media is clearly not going anywhere. Social media has managed to work its way into the lives of teenagers, parents, grandparents, and even people’s pets. Yes . . . people create Facebook pages for their pets! 

In the employment world, this means there is a new and growing arena for potential marketing, and there is a good chance most employees are also on Facebook, LinkedIn, and/or Twitter. Accordingly, for any employer, it is important to do two things. First, a business should decide if and how social media may be used to the business’ advantage. Second, a business should create and implement an effective social media policy, which sets forth the standards of conduct expected from employees with respect to their use of social networking sites in any way that may be connected to the employer. 

To assist with the first task, four new magazines focusing on business and social media were released this week for sale in print at Office Depot and digitally at socialmediamags.com. Each magazine focuses on one of the four major social media players: Facebook, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn, and may help business gain a better understanding of the current social media world, and how they may want to incorporate social media into their business.

With regard to the second task, any business, regardless of whether they utilize social media or not, should implement a social media policy and may want to consult their attorney for assistance. This policy is increasingly more important with the continued growth and use of social media by millions of people and businesses, and an effective policy may mitigate the risk of liability that may be imposed on an employer via their employees’ use of social networking sites.