Your Social Media Policy: Part One

If your business has more than a handful of employees, you need to consider establishing a social media policy.

Do you actively promote your business through social media? If so, then it’s critical to consider creating an acceptable use policy for your employees. They need to know how they’re expected to represent your business online during working hours.

If your company isn’t active in social media, it doesn’t much matter. Most of the folks who work for you are probably way ahead of you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and who knows what else. They all need to know how they’re expected to conduct themselves with regard to their employment when they’re not on the clock.

When you sit down to create your company’s policy, be aware that you’re not operating in a legal vacuum. There’s a growing body of labor law that defines how an acceptable use policy can regulate employee conduct. You don’t have to be a lawyer to figure it all out, but you do need to use some common sense.

Your social media policy should be as specific as possible regarding unacceptable types of online conduct. Over the course of the last year or so, a number of advisories and rulings issued by the National Labor Relations Board have taken a dim view of overly broad policy prohibitions. The more specific your policy, the more likely it is to withstand legal review should the need arise.