If you have a job and want to keep it, there are few things you should know about social media use. If you’re running a business and want to continue doing so, these guidelines also apply to you, and you may even want to share them with your employees.
The Medical Director for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media sums up wise social media policy in six words: Don’t lie, don’t pry. Don’t steal, don’t reveal. Don’t cheat. Can’t delete. This is most concise answer we’ve seen to the hundreds of social media questions we hear every day.
Social Media: A Helpful Tool, but Also a Potential Source of Trouble
If you’re an employee of any company, anywhere, keep your job in mind as you roam around on the internet. Before you post anything, even the most harmless images and comments, imagine how you’d feel if these comments crossed your boss’s desk. This happens far more often than you may realize. Your own boss may be curiously Googling your name right now. And every day, employees are fired from their jobs as a result of internet activity they assumed their employers would never see.
There’s no such thing as a “secret” blog. And anonymity will protect you perfectly until the day it doesn’t. Think about this before you disparage your boss or coworkers, and be cautious about praising or positively reviewing the products of your company’s competitors.
Social Media for Employers and Business Owners
If you’re a business owner, social media can get you into hot water for a different set of reasons. So to avoid this possibility, keep these simple tips in mind:
1. Be truthful. Don’t lie or make exaggerated or questionable claims on your website. If you make a negative remark about a competitor, be sure you can verify this remark or your intentions may backfire and your reputation may suffer.
2. Don’t pry. Never ask a candidate or existing employee for password access to any personal accounts. In fact, don’t include personal social media profiles in any aspect of your candidate screening process. Not only can this expose you to accusations of discrimination, it can also alienate talented candidates and drive them away.
3. Don’t steal. In other words, credit your sources. Don’t use images or quotes taken from any source without permission. If you can’t ask permission, repost the information only with a clear credit and a backlink to the original site. And be prepared to take the content down if the original creator requests. Just because you found something on the internet doesn’t mean it’s available. If you’d like to post high quality articles, blog content, or photos, hire writers and artists and pay them fairly.
4. Don’t take risks with privileged information. This means don’t maintain databases with customer or employee addresses, phone contacts or credit card numbers unless you have strong security measures in place.
For more advice on developing a company social media policy, contact The Palmer Group, your Des Moines, IA staffing solution experts.