Social Media Policies

It wasn’t long ago that a Burger King employee was sacked after posting a photo on Instagram of himself lay on a bag of burger buns, or the one where the employee licked the tacos from Taco Bell and posted it to Facebook. These types of misdemeanours seem to linger on our feed for some time, even after 4 years the news is still spreading about the Domino’s employees who filmed themselves shoving pizza up their nostrils and serving it to customers a few minutes later, not many can forgive and forget.

It doesn’t take me to state the obvious and say that social media is huge and you may think that the slightest thing won’t get noticed, but trust me it will! We’ve all in some way put something on social media that we later thought we probably shouldn’t have, but when it comes to your own workplace being exploited in a derogatory way you need to be careful because you don’t want to be thrown into what comes next. Some employees have found themselves not only sacked but put up in court for their simple photographs on the internet.

It’s important that before an employee controls a company’s social media account that they have a meeting to discuss essentially what to be aware of on social media accounts and what to avoid. Also, if they employee is going to become the ‘voice’ of the account they should be aware of their own personal accounts and what they’re also discussing there.

How a policy can help

Employees may feel that a company can go too far with their rules and regulations but a policy doesn’t have to be strict, it’s just a guideline to help.

Posting on social media sometimes feels difficult on a company account. Deciding what to post and worrying about how it could be misconstrued is common, but it shouldn’t be over thought, it’s your company’s opinion and so if it works up a conversation let it, it’s great exposure. At the end of the day it’s better to post than not at all.

A policy can be documented to show new employees, it’s an easier way of holding the initial meeting and they’ll know briefly what your company’s aims are on social media. As well as being documented to help employees, the policy outlines the goals you are trying to achieve through social media.

Going ahead and just typing away to the world isn’t the best way, it can make you seem ignorant or even come across the wrong way, it’s not a case of ‘You are only allowed to post about this’ it’s there to help you and just give you some pointers so that you don’t feel uncomfortable.

The downside to social media policies can be that companies can get too hung up on what they don’t want included rather than what they do want. When this happens very few posts are created meaning the company will constantly post about ‘We’re on our way to a new event’ and it then becomes boring and repetitive. Companies need to let themselves go a little, fun content gets the most engagement from an audience and so let employees take over and engage with their audience.

Social media should be fun and show the world your company’s personality, every company has a different aim for their social media account, having a policy in place reminds employees of the ‘voice’ of your company, it’s not a way of placing strict guidelines but to help so you don’t end up like Licky Taco Bell Guy or the Snotty Dominos employees.

Sian Clifford
  • Written by on 23rd October 2013 at 10:10
  • “Sian Clifford is a marketing assistant at Fluid Creativity.”
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