Have You Got A Social Media Policy In Place
Social media is one of the leading platforms to promote your business, brand and to also network with others to build working relationships. However, an inappropriate or negative comment by a member of your staff, competitor or client could damage your brand and business reputation that you have worked so hard to build. Additional issues that also stem from the use of social media that you may also be liable for include harassment, defamation, cyber bullying and confidentiality and data protection breaches.
For example, a well known entertainment retailer had dismissed a large number of its employees but some of these employees had access to the retailer’s Twitter account and took the opportunity to vent their grievances using the retailer’s Twitter account. The Twitter messages went viral and what was supposed to be a private business affair was made public.
There have been many other similar cases whereby companies have had to publicly apologise for social media disasters. It is therefore clear that a careful balance of the use of social media is required together with effective supervision and monitoring. Having a social media policy in place can assist you to use social media effectively to promote your brand and business.
A social media policy typically includes provisions that set out your company’s general rules for the use of social media by staff. This includes the use of social media by staff in the company’s name and who is permitted, staff’s personal use of social media and how it may affect the status of your company, how you will monitor the use of social media and the consequences if staff breach the policy, e.g. disciplinary action or even in certain circumstances, dismissal for a material breach of the employment contract.
In addition to having a social media policy in place, you will also need to implement measures to monitor staff’s use of social media and take necessary actions promptly in order to avoid any public embarrassment and reputational damage.
If you do not have a social media policy in place and would like to, talk to Tollers on 01908 396 230 and ask for Liz Appleyard in our Commercial Law Team, who will happily assist you.