Many people think of their social media is a reflection of who they are. While that may be true in our personal lives, sometimes what we share on social media can reflect poorly on us professionally. As an employer, considering what your company policy is around the use of social media is something that might be worthwhile. There are things that you want to allow and even encourage of your employees. But speaking poorly of their company or even things like engaging in illegal activity online might be cause for dismissal. Here are several red flags to watch out for as you are thinking through your social media guidelines for employees who are inevitably the face of your company.
Social Media Abuses
Red flags for social media use or abuse might include photos or content that might raise questions about an employee’s ability to perform their jobs. Inappropriate content on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram reflects poorly on the individual as well as the employer they work for. Aggressive political stances can also reflect poorly on professionalism, though it’s important to note that people have a right to their own opinions and of course freedom of speech. But if they are actively sharing information publicly about the business or the work, that’s a security threat that can cause real damage.
Corporate Social Strategy
Understanding how new generations of workers use and enjoy social media is important. It’s how people stay connected with friends and families, and even coworkers today. Having an expectation that workers do not use social media is unrealistic. But you can set firm boundaries around how your company is represented online. That might include a policy that limits sharing photos or videos from worksites. It might include limiting the use of social media to non-work hours. At the end of the day, having some guidelines in place to help your workers understand how to talk about their work online can help.
Your Company’s Social Media Presence
At a minimum, all social media guidelines should include the following:
Your brand’s purpose on social media
Companies do well to document the brand’s purpose for being on a social platform. If it’s with the intent to recruit or amplify content, or even customer advocacy, your employees should know and understand why it matters to them and their work. Then employees can mirror that purpose in their work-related posts or interactions.
Your company style guide
List any trademark needs and provide the correct spelling for any company products or services so that employees correctly present the brand. You should also define your brand voice and tone, and any other considerations employees should consider.
Access to assets
Create a central folder employees can access for company logos, how-to’s, shared FAQs, and more. Consider creating a list of preferred hashtags and the purpose for them. Think about company hashtags like Dell’s #IWorkForDell or IBM’s #ProudIBMer. Keeping this information in one place can increase the likelihood employees will stay on brand on social.
For more tips on how to grow great teams in the era of social media, connect with the team at ESGI today.