Social media is here to stay and its impact on businesses is more than just idle chatter. As businesses rely more on social media as a communication and branding tool and employees’ business and personal use overlaps, employers must ensure their policies comply with social media legislation as well as protect the company’s brand. 

March 2013 Voice 12 tips: Using social media wisely in the workplace

Social media is here to stay and its impact on businesses is more than just idle chatter. As businesses rely more on social media as a communication and branding tool and employees’ business and personal use overlaps, employers must ensure their policies comply with social media legislation as well as protect the company’s brand.

How can companies keep an eye on employees’ social media use without sending the message that they are constantly looking over their shoulders?

infographic_social_media_small.jpgEmployee engagement is a hot discussion topic in meeting rooms everywhere, and every company is looking for ways to increase employee engagement,” says Kim Dixon, global VP brand and media marketing, Ceridian. “It’s necessary to acknowledge and embrace the role that social media plays in delivering a win-win engagement opportunity for both the individual and the organization.”

Your social media ambassadors

Dixon says employees who know how to use social media and comply with their company’s social media policy can be very effective social media ambassadors for the organization.

To help ensure social media use doesn’t overstep legal lines and provides value to the organization, Dixon suggests employees: 

  1. Disclose their relationship with the company when addressing issues relevant to the company and its products
  2. Refrain from commenting on legal issues, partners or competitors, gossip or anything confidential involving the company
  3. Stick to facts and show respect during disagreements or conflicts
  4. Use social media actively
  5. Listen to relevant online conversations
  6. Follow industry trends
  7. Bring feedback and insight from the company’s industry to the wider team
  8. Build positive relationships with customers
  9. Share expertise and knowledge
  10. Credit sources by using a link to connect their audience to the rest of the information
  11. Respect the privacy of colleagues by not posting photos or information about them without their approval
  12. Acknowledge any errors quickly and openly

Social media training and rewards

Dixon says employers that have a social media policy in the workplace must ensure that employees are aware of the policy, have read it thoroughly and understand and follow the guidelines. She suggests offering regular training sessions as required to keep employees informed on policy changes, remind them about policy details and offer tips and tricks on how they can be more effective while using social media.

“It’s very important to recognize employees who are doing a good job acting as social media ambassadors for your organization,” says Dixon. “When employees use social media strategies appropriately, they benefit the organization by heightening awareness about the company, engaging with the customer audience, contributing to valuable conversations and positioning them and their organization as thought leaders.”

As you think through your social media policy, consider these tips for not only maintaining legal and regulatory compliance, but also for encouraging your employees to be social media ambassadors for your organization.

For more information:

  • View our infographic
  • Read social computing guidelines