Within the area of employment law, both employees and employers are dealing with changes brought on by the rise of social media. Utilising partner Jennifer Bicknell's experience and expertise, we offer a brief list of tips to survive social media.

  • Embrace social media. Learn about it. Understand it.
  • Assume that everything you type on a computer, a tablet or a phone can, and will, be read by others. Do you really want to press "send"?
  • Be mindful that a phone is not just a phone - it is also a camera, a video recorder, a voice recorder ...
  • Consider whether you can use social media in your recruitment process. Gen Y graduates use Facebook and Twitter. Do you?
  • Be aware of the use that can be made of social media in the pre-employment process.
  • Think carefully before accepting any form of electronic invitation. The distinction between what is "private" and "public" is no longer clear.
  • Understand that the consequences of bullying, harassment, racism and defamation in cyberspace are just as real and punishable as they are in the physical workplace.
  • Have employment contracts that clearly spell out employees' obligations regarding the use of confidential information during the employment relationship and after it is over.
  • Have a social media policy. It is better to prevent publication than to try to undo it.
  • Have a procedure in place for dealing with departing employees.
  • Consider using online services to promote your business - just be clear about whether you are creating a "client relationship".
  • Understand what "the cloud" is.
  • Have security in place. Hackers are not your friends.
  • Monitor your digital reputation on an ongoing basis so you know who is saying what.
  • Have an "Emergency Plan" in place for dealing with inappropriate social media postings.
  • Be pro-active, not re-active. The social media memory is long lasting, even after content has been removed.
  • Knowledge is power. Be aware of the impact that social media can have on your business and use it to your advantage!