A social media policy allows a business to proactively define employees’ acceptable use of social media for marketing and other business purposes to minimize risk to the business.
Any social media policy crafted on behalf of your business should include provisions for:
Compliance. Any activity on social media should comply with internal employment, business and other policies. Equally important is compliance with the terms and conditions of social media platforms or websites accessed by the employees for business purposes.
Ownership. Require that all social media accounts created or used on behalf of your business are owned solely by the business. Ensure passwords are unique and use two-factor authorization to minimize account hacking and breaches. Employees should ensure that material posted on behalf of the business is owned or licensed to the business for this purpose.
Disciplinary action. Be clear that violations of the social media policy are grounds for discipline, which may include termination. For a better chance of having firings or discipline upheld after a violation of the social media policy, ensure the policy’s restrictions are specific and not overly broad.
Other provisions are likely necessary under federal or state law but may depend on your company’s particular situation. As your business maximizes its reach through social media, having a secure policy in place allows you to ensure your employees’ efforts are having a unified, positive effect on your target customers.
-Ariane Strombom is an attorney at Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. in Milwaukee.