Social Media Policies in the Work Place

Last week, we mentioned that Schwartz Media president Tadd Schwartz would be presenting at a Social Media Week Miami panel, discussion social media practices in the workplaces. Don’t worry if you missed — we’ve got you covered.

In an era where employees use social media for all sorts of reasons, including personal, professional and as a mean to leverage their presence in the digital media world, there has to be guidelines to using social media  the ‘right’ way. Many companies enforce a strong social media policy, while others choose to trust their employee’s judgment.

SM Week Miami PanelDeveloping and implementing an effective social media policy should follow these two suggestions:

First, employers and employees must be careful with the words they use and the context in which they use them. Make sure to be specific, clear and simple.

In the case of social media for PR firms like ours, employees are encouraged to use their platforms to spread the word about news and as a platform to communicate with the media. It is of high importance that employees are concise and clear. One way to gain credibility with the outside world in social media is by being transparent and honest about your posts, so think twice before saying what you want to say and how you want to say it.

Second, social media policies should be centered on respect. Think about your most conservative client before you submit any information and ask yourself: would they find this acceptable or be offended by it? If what you are about to post is acceptable and does not offend, then go ahead and send it out. A good rule of thumb to live by is that if you wouldn’t say it in front of grandma, then don’t say it on social media.

It never hurts to provide guidelines and train staff  to use social media in a way that benefits the employer.

On a side note: Efficiency.

Social media can be a valuable tool, but it can also be a major distraction for employees who overuse it at work. The use of social media is inevitable; a total blackout would create tension in the workplace, but use should be limited. Make it clear to employees that although they have the freedom to use social media while in the office, they have to balance other tasks and meet expectations.