Social media use continues to rise among workforce members, and many are active on the sites during the workday. Sprout Social, a social media analytics service provider, states 73 percent of businesses do not have a policy to govern social activity despite the fact that 74 percent of adults use the channels.
Companies that do not have a policy will experience increased risk in terms of potentially bad press, as well as the threat of hindered productivity from uninhibited social media use among employees.
Here are a couple of ways to ensure your social media policy is on point:
- Defining a policy: The policy should dictate how employees are allowed to behave on social media, when it is permitted, what sites are off-limits, and any information pertaining to opinionated posts and accounts. In some instances, it will be necessary to require staff to have a statement in their profiles that says something along the lines of "thoughts are my own." Many policies also address what employees are and are not permitted to write about their companies.
- Drafting: Leaders must draft a policy that is reviewed by all managers and comprehensively handles all of the moving parts of social media activity among employees. In some industries, legal departments should be involved in analyzing and guiding the policy's various statutes.
- Buy-in: CIO magazine, a publication catering to chief information officers, suggests getting buy-in from every department in the business, ensuring employees have a say in the policy's development.
- Communicate to staff: All employees must be aware of the various statutes. Businesses can hold training and Q&A sessions to ensure everyone is on the same page, which can include a statement of understanding that employees must sign.
- Restricting times: CIO magazine recommends allowing employees to use social media at only certain times to ensure productivity is not lost amid uninhibited activity.
- Filtering: For a more controlled approach to social media activity management, CIO magazine urges companies to implement a DNS-based filter for their internet. This can effectively allow leaders and managers to block certain websites and content on the network. Filtering can reduce the risk of data breaches and other digital threats, all the while ensuring employees stay on task during the workday.
Do not wait until a major problem presents itself to write a social media policy - be proactive and protect your company.