If you're a company, brand, small or enterprise level business in today's world, it's a fact that your employees are on social media. Particular for younger employees, just starting their first "real" job out of college, they've never known a time when social media wasn't an ubiquitous part of life. And this can lead to inappropriate posting etiquette.
Whether innocent or not, when representing a business in any capacity, employees should have clear guidelines when it comes to posting on social media. After all, you want your employees to be brand ambassadors, so giving them all the tools and empowerment you can will help boost your message in the best way.
Use the below as a template to follow when creating your internal social media guidelines.
Guidelines for Employees When Posting on Social Media
These guidelines apply to (COMPANY) employees or contractors who create, engage with and contribute to content pieces and marketing such as blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds, or any other kind of Social Media. Whether you log into platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, or Medium; or comment on online forums, blogs, or media stories — these guidelines are for you.
While all (COMPANY) employees are welcome to participate in Social Media, we expect everyone who participates in online commentary to understand and to follow these simple but important guidelines. These rules might sound strict and contain a bit of legal-sounding jargon but please keep in mind that our overall goal is simple: to participate online in a respectful, relevant way that protects our reputation and of course follows the letter and spirit of the law.
- Be transparent and state that you work at and are an employee of (COMPANY). Your honesty will be noted in the Social Media environment. If you are writing about (COMPANY) or a competitor, use your real name, identify that you are an employee of (COMPANY), and be clear about your role. If you have a vested interest in what you are discussing, be the first to say so.
- Never represent yourself or (COMPANY) in a false or misleading way. All statements must be true and not misleading; all claims made, whether on social media or not, must be substantiated.
- Post meaningful, respectful comments on social media platforms — in other words, please, no spam and no remarks that are off-topic or offensive.
- We encourage you to stick to your area of expertise and do feel free to provide unique, individual perspectives on non-confidential activities at (COMPANY) that can lead to positive engaging conversations with customers on our various media channels.
- When disagreeing with others’ opinions, keep it appropriate and polite. If you find yourself in a situation online that looks as if it’s becoming antagonistic, do not get overly defensive and do not disengage from the conversation abruptly: feel free to ask managers for advice and/or to disengage from the dialogue in a polite manner that reflects well on (COMPANY).
- If you want to write about the competition on social media, make sure you behave diplomatically, have the facts straight and that you have the appropriate permissions to engage with such content on social.
- Never comment on anything related to legal matters, litigation, or any third parties (COMPANY) may be in litigation with on social.
- Never participate in Social Media when the topic being discussed may be considered a crisis situation. Even anonymous comments and content may be traced back to your or (COMPANY)’s IP address. Refer all social media activity and content around crisis topics to Legal Affairs - never engage with this content on behalf of (COMPANY)
NOTE: Mainstream news and social media inquiries must be referred to the Director of Public Relations.
This article was written by Todd Defren from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.