In this day and age, almost everyone is on social media in some capacity. As a result, it is important that a business owner thinks about how their brand can be perceived online by others. You need to ensure that you are covering not just your own digital footprint, but ensuring that your employees do not step out of line too. A social media clause in their contracts might be a necessary inclusion.
What is a Social Media Policy?
A social media policy can be as simple as a few clauses within a wider employee contract. It will serve to ensure that the employee in question is aware that any actions they take online could reflect badly on the company.
From promoting or working with competition to slander and abuse, there are many scenarios that a company could wish to prevent. The right social media policy will give them the power to protect themselves from any inference that an employee might make with their post.
Why Should You Write a Social Media Policy?
As an employer, you should have very little control over what your employees do outside of company hours. After all, they are their own people, and they should be free to live their lives as they see fit. However, with this needs to come an understanding that they have a responsibility to still represent the company well.
Many people have their place of work listed as part of their social media profiles. This means that everything that they say as part of their social media posts could then be traced back to the company and taken as the company’s views in part. This could unfortunately lead to some incidents online and a potentially messy situation for your business depending on the nature of what has been presented. A social media policy means that you will be able to distance the company from what has been said, and potentially also take action against the employee if necessary.
Worth Disciplinary Action?
In the event of an outburst on social media that could be considered defamatory towards your company, a social media policy in an employee’s contract will allow you to take action against them as you see fit.
You need to be able to distance yourself from the remarks made as a brand while also reprimanding the employee and explaining to them why such comments will not be appreciated. In extreme cases, it might even be prudent to consider dismissal. However, a company needs to have basis to do so. That is why having some sort of clause regarding social media is so important. In this digital age, and especially with so many political and social issues being discussed in the open forum of social media, we need to be able to protect our businesses.
Contact MM Legal today if you wish to find out more about social media clauses, or to add them to your current contracts. Our experts will be able to talk you through the process so you are prepared to deal with issues that arise in the digital landscape.