Even if your business does not make use of social media in any way, you still need to be aware of its power, and how social media posts by your staff could affect your business positively, and negatively.
Many of your staff might feel that they should be able to post whatever they want on their social media sites provided it does not have any specific relationship with the business.
But this can be a very grey area!
Social Media Posts that Upset Employers
- A young teacher at a school based around strict religious principles fired her when she posted photos of herself drinking and dancing at a party on a cruise ship while on a personal holiday.
- A male employee of an adventure tourism business was fired for posting photos of himself canoeing down a flooded river with no life jacket or helmet.
- A salesperson posts a photo of himself receiving a company award for his sales achievements and includes comments detailing the company marketing plan he attributed to his success. Also fired.
Why did each of these three people lose their jobs?
In each of these cases, the staff member could build a case of unfair dismissal. However, they did in each instance post something on their private social media accounts that could have a negative result for their employer.
The teacher’s photos indicate her personal life does not align with the religious principles of the school.
The adventure tourism employee displays a total disregard for safety when he works in an industry where safety is the No. 1 priority.
The salesperson has given away company secrets by revealing their successful marketing plan.
Managing your Staffs Social Media Exposure
It has been reported that up to 77% of staff use social media while at work. If they have no guidelines on how this might affect their job, chances are that some of them will post something your business would prefer that did not appear in the public domain.
The reality is that many people these days live their lives on social media, posting regularly, as if they feel their online friends simply must know what they are doing all the time. A business can develop a social media policy to ensure that employees do not impact the company in a negative way or violate personal privacy of other employees.
Develop a Social Media Policy
As part of each staff member’s introduction, this policy can point out how to use social media the right way, and not the wrong way.
This would include how to talk about your company and its products and services online when it is appropriate to do so, and when it is not. Plus, the consequences of getting it wrong.
Give Clear Instructions of When Social Media Use at Work is Appropriate
There are benefits to be gained from your staff using social media at work.
It enables staff to take a mental break and refresh; connect with family and friends; find information to help solve a work problem and build professional connections.
Of course, common sense should apply to each of these options. You do not want an employee spending three hours texting their partner and their travel agent about bookings for their planned holiday.
Encourage Professional Connections
This might not apply to all staff, but for some, making connections with potential clients and influencers can be a huge benefit to the business.
Sometimes these contacts will be acquired through LinkedIn or Facebook posts instead of through the telephone or via business letters.
Check out Global Resources Reviews and consider a business analysis to determine whether your company could benefit from new policies and procedures on how your employees interact on social media platforms, so they don’t have a negative impact on your business.