Social media Usage policy

It wasn’t too long ago when social media sites such as Facebook were only perceived as harmful to the productivity of employees. Now, there are companies that coach employees to become brand advocates in social media. In fact, social media is here to stay. It is used both within and outside companies.

A few years ago, many companies don’t allow employees to talk about where they work and what they work on. Using social media was seen as a security threat in this case. Inside the company, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites were blocked because of the possibility that employees might share classified information.

However, as the years went by, many companies felt the need to have consumer-based technologies. This led to some businesses allowing the use of social media within organizations so that each employee can promote the brand. In turn, new sets of rules had to be implemented so that all employees can achieve a common goal set by the company.

Moreover, some companies have carried out formal policies and capitalized in such social media services and software as Yammer, Jive Engage, etc.

While companies understand that there are risks involved in using social media within companies and allowing employees to promote the brand using social media, the idea is that the benefits are greater than the potential risks.

Right now, companies need to write guidelines, and not policies that are unchangeable. There is no general structure to date. So the best thing to do right now is for companies to advise their employees to use good judgment when using social media.

Primarily, companies should know the National Labor Relations Act, a rule that protects the freedom of speech of employees. Having said that, this right is often sketchily understood, and many companies have been disciplined for dismissing employees for stuff they post on social media using their personal accounts. In fact, the NLRA allows employees to use the logo and name of their company when posting in social media.

Of course, companies can provide policies preventing employees from badmouthing their company or sharing private business info using social media. Still, they have to keep in mind that employees have rights, and a balance must be achieved.

On the other hand, companies have more control over the attitude of employees towards their customers. An employee that belittles customers in social media engages in unlawful harassment and will experience the full blunt of the policies that employers have a lot of leverage on.

Employers also have more control over employees when they are using official social media accounts of companies. For example, employers can impose policies not allowing employees to post personal stuff in these accounts.

Social media training program of MasterCard

MasterCard launched their serious social media training program with Conversation Suite. According to Andrew Bowins, senior vice president of MasterCard Worldwide, in an interview with social media today, the Conversation Suite is “driven from our company’s commitment to engage consumers and merchants directly, build even stronger relationships issuers and engage people in conversations that were meaningful to them.”

Social Media Usage Policy Among Employees

Local police departments review social media policies  — WKYC-TV
Oliver says the tensions in Ferguson right now are a prime reason why trust is needed between the officers and the community they serve. He says that's why they have a social media policy.

Social media policies in the workplace  — Lexology
This is an ever-increasing area of litigation. In a series of recent decisions, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) has found social media policies unlawful because those interfere with employees' rights to act collectively.

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