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Blog  »  October 2013  »  Why do you need a social media policy? - Blog
Oct 13

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Why do you need a social media policy?

Social media has shifted workplace dynamics, offering limitless commercial potential, including opportunities to increase client base, branding advertising and recruitment. Social media has made historically 9-5 businesses accessible 24/7.

However, it is not without risk! The instant access and availability of social media has blurred the lines between “personal” and “professional” lives.

What are the Risks?

Risks associated with poorly managed social media use can include:

  • Decreased productivity: a recent survey by William Fry Solicitors found that, on average, employees spend 56 minutes per working day on social media sites. 
  • Reputational damage: negative comments, photos, videos can very quickly become viral, having detrimental effects on a business. Have you seen the photo of the Burger King employee lying on a pile of burger buns, or the infamous Taco Bell or Domino’s Pizza photos?!
  • Increased risk of cyberbullying and harassment: in a recent case two workers in a mobile phone shop who took their manager’s phone, accessed his Facebook page, posting inappropriate comments. Not only was this a form of bullying, but the Company was also found liable as the comments were posted in the course of employment.
  • Leakage of confidential Company information: if it’s digital, it’s public!

What should Employers do?

Employers need to consider the issues social media raises in their workplace and put measures in place to regulate its use and to combat risks. Key to this is to have a comprehensive Social Media Policy in place. The policy should give clear guidelines on what is considered as appropriate and inappropriate behaviour on social media, and be clearly communicated across the entire workforce.

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Posted in Company Handbook, Employee Handbook, Social Media