Social Media:  A Sticky Situation

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social-media-a-sticky-situationSocial media is pervasive in today’s online world, and it has created many “gray areas” for employers.  Just as you should have a social media policy for your company’s posts for consistency and tone, you also should have a social media policy included in your employee handbook, so your team understands expectations when representing your company.

We all have opinions and beliefs, and as Americans, are entitled to freedom of speech.  Social media promotes individualism, and people use various social media platforms, such as Facebook to LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and many more, to share their lives – both personal and professional – with their connections around the world.

It’s important to train your existing team on your company’s policy regarding social media posts, and include in future new hire orientations.  Clearly explain the purpose of each social media platform your company uses, and offer guidelines on posting.

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Relevant, timely posts can benefit both you and your company, from job openings to blog posts.  However, inappropriate posts can detract from both your own professional image and credibility and also reflect negatively on your employer.

Examples of appropriate types of posts, when representing or referring to your employer:

  • Job openings and career opportunities
  • Information on your company’s products and services
  • Ticket or event info for upcoming special events
  • Content from your company’s website or blog
  • Resharing content from your company’s social media pages.

Remember, the internet is forever, so think twice before you post.  Fact check, write clearly, use appropriate links, images, and attributions, and avoid sharing opinions on touchy subjects like politics or religion.  A good rule to follow is, “If you wouldn’t hang it on your office wall, don’t post it on your social media.”

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Staff One HR can assist you in creating a social media policy for your company or conducting training for your team.  Contact the author directly at anissa.wilson@staffone.com.

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