What is the business purpose of a social media policy?

Date published: 2021-02-12   — by Will Elton

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A Social Media Policy is a document that provides guidelines for use of social media by the employees in your organization, both personally and professionally, including your organisation’s official social media accounts and channels.

What is a social media policy?

A Social Media Policy is a document that sets out the responsibilities and obligations that an organisation’s employees must follow when using social media.  

Social Media Policy ensures that the employees know the extent to which using social media accounts is permitted at work, as well as further considerations when using social media outside of work. This protects the organization from liability for certain comments made in your organisation’s name, such as libelous or inappropriate comments. 

Why do I need a social media policy?

Social Media Policy is crucial to adequately protect an organisation’s business interests while upholding their employees’ personal data rights and freedom of speech. It covers legal issues that could arise for the organisation, including confidentiality, intellectual property infringement, and defamation, as well as personal liability of the employee.

Objectives of a Social Media Policy

  • To guide the contents, posts, and activities on your organisation’s social media accounts and channels
  • To guide your employees’ posts and activities on their professional as well as personal social media accounts

In simple words, if your organisation is on social media, you will have more control over the posts made under your channel or brand. 

Similarly, you’d like to have some level of control over the posts made by your employees in both their personal and professional social media to ensure that their posts do not create any conflict with your organisation’s brand or reputation.

It also helps to:

  • Maintain your organisation’s image over social media and overall online web
  • Treat legal and regulatory sensitivities with awareness
  • Prevent a security breach or legal or PR crisis
  • Plan actions in case of a security breach or legal crisis
  • Encourage responsible use of social media among employees
  • Have disciplinary actions and procedures in place in case of breach of policy by employees

What do I need to include in a social media policy?

  • Acceptable social media use during work hours;
  • Appointed officer in charge of policy enforcement;
  • Handling media-related inquiries;
  • What you should and should not disclose over social media; and
  • Appointed officer in charge of intellectual property compliance.

Conclusion

The online presence of any organization (directly or indirectly through their employees) is inevitable in these times. Because of which it has become a necessity for any organisation to have a social medial policy in place to guide proper social media use and activities therein to prevent any actions that may be detrimental to the business. This does not mean banning social media completely but assessing the acceptable use and making the employees aware of the Do’s and Don’ts is important.

Use Zegal’s Social Media Policy document to build one for your organization today. 

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Tags: create legal document | legal contracts | social media policy

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