Social Media for Managers

by Theresa Truscott

Things your people should do

Here are the top three ‘dos’ that should be contained in a social media policy. These should be clearly communicated to your employees.

1. Be responsible for what you write

It is unfortunately the case that some people tend to interpret having the ‘right’ to express themselves online as implying a lack of consequences when they make inappropriate comments. This is not the case. Your organisation and its representatives need to take responsibility for what they write, and exercise good judgment and common sense both during and outside of working hours.

No one wants to lose their job over embarrassing remarks. Likewise, no company wants the hassle of dealing with that situation. Therefore, it is important the person who holds the responsibility of being a representative of a company (which means each employee) should exercise accountability for their use of social media.

2. Consider the audience

It is important to remember that once something is posted, it cannot be retracted. It is out there, to be viewed by anyone and everyone. Do not assume you know who has access to what you post. It could be seen just by your intended audience, or perhaps those you never considered.

When you are out in the blogosphere or social media channels, remember that your readers include current clients and potential clients, as well as current/past/future employees. Consider that before you publish and make sure you aren’t alienating any of those groups.

3. Exercise good judgment

Refrain from comments that can be interpreted as slurs, demeaning, inflammatory and so on. The internet is full of varied opinions, and it can be beneficial to share yours. However, one must avoid even the appearance of being narrow-minded or worse.

Your employees should understand that companies can and will monitor employee use of social media and social networking web sites, even if they are engaging in social networking or social media use away from the office. This is perfectly acceptable as they are representatives of your company. All employees should consider how what they post may reflect not, just on them, but also the company.