Social media has fundamentally transformed how we communicate information to one another. As social networking sites increase in popularity, the lines between the personal and professional spheres have begun to blur. Social media’s inescapable presence in the workplace makes it essential for today’s businesses to ensure they have a comprehensive social media policy and that their employees are not at risk of (over)sharing online. Below, we outline the benefits that a clear and well-drafted social media policy offers your business.

1. It Creates a Better Platform to Promote Your Business

An effective social media policy that is collaborative, transparent and appropriate to your product will create opportunities to engage with your customers and help achieve business goals. Your social media policy should not be a list of restrictions. Rather, it should be drafted as a set of guidelines that help employees understand the ways that social media should be used to elevate your business and brand. Minimising confusion over legal issues means you and your employees can focus more time on expanding your business’ reach. In this way, social media and a clear policy surrounding its use are used to harness the benefits of technology to your advantage rather than put it at risk.

2. You’ll Be Protecting Your Valuable Content

A social media policy can help protect your business against a breach of your intellectual property rights and the disclosure of confidential information. Regulatory and self-help policies will also assist in monitoring information for reputation management, such as mentions of your business on third party sites. It is important to have a self-governance regime in place to protect your content, and a clear social media policy that complies with all relevant legislation, codes of conduct and workplace agreements.

3. You’ll Create Better Relations With Your Employees

What employees publish on social media also reflects on your business. A social media policy can cover how employees should conduct themselves during their personal capacity on social media as well as in their capacity as a representative of your business. A straightforward and risk-minimising guideline on what employees should and should not post on social media avoids potential disputes with employees and protects your business against costly social media mistakes. Ultimately, taking the guesswork out of social media and implementing a policy that embraces the culture and values of your business will make your relationship with your employees more positive, candid and productive.

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The law is still evolving in the area of social media, and it’s important that your business is protected by a set of clear and informative social media policies. As we wait for legislation to catch-up, self-regulation and monitoring as well as early action offers the best protection for your business against any potentially damaging social media activity. If you have any questions as to what your social media policy should include, or need assistance with drafting, get in touch with our employment team.

Nicole Wilson

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