Nowadays, most everyone seems to be using social media websites, ranging from school-aged children to grandparents. Companies are also utilizing the advertising possibilities that social media provides, but it can come at a price. With the convenience and ease of social media, comes a bevy of dangers ranging from loss of personal data to cybercrimes. In order to protect your business, you should be sure to implement safety controls to be used by administrators and employees who enjoy using social media for work. This includes creating a strict social media policy and following through by enforcing it.
1) Implement an employee social media policy
Right out of the starting gate, you should create and implement a social media policy for your employees to adhere to. Your social media policy, called an Electronic Communication Policy, should clearly define the employee’s use of social media, including guidelines about what it and isn’t accepted. Employees will also sign the policy, which states you as the employer has a right to monitor their social communications as they pertain to business. The policy should be specific, detailed, and thorough in order to effectively cover all the bases. Not only should it be distributed to current employees, but all new hires as well in order to maintain consistent with implementing the policy.
2) Monitor and enforce your employee social media policy
Not only should you create and distribute the policy, but it is just as important to follow through. Your employees have signed a policy agreeing to your monitoring of their activities. Don’t forgo this fact, and be consistent with monitoring their behavior. Disciplining employees is also important to note. If you find that an employee is breaking a guideline that is stated on the policy, enforcing the rules and discipline will send a warning message to the rest of your employees. Choose the consequences for breaking the social media policy, and be consistent with enforcing the rules.
3) Ensure employees know the law
Another important consideration for your social media safety controls is being sure employees understand the law. This includes providing them with information about defamation, libel, slander, and your company’s intellectual property rights. If they are found to be doing any one of these with their own personal social media communications, it is subject to consequences and discipline, as stated in your social media policy. It is also recommended that your company monitor company emails sent to and from employees so that you are aware of any defamation, libel or slander caused by an employee. If you put this in a policy and have the employee sign it, they are aware of it and you therefore reserve the right to monitor all communications.
4) Block social media sites on workplace computers
While employees can get around this by using their own mobile devices to access social media site, blocking social media sites from workplace computers, can act as a deterrent.
Protecting your company’s data should be top priority, including client and customer information, financial data, and payroll information. Other implications can come from employee social media communications, including libel and slander, which is against your rules. Monitoring communications and implementing safety controls is a great way to avoid this from happening.