Social Media Policies – What’s a Company To Do?
By now, we all know that social media usage is exploding, no matter how you measure it. Traffic on social media sites is growing by triple digits and the amount of time people are spending on social media sites has grown by 82% according to Nielsen. For more stats, here’s just one site that gives you an idea of the exploding growth.
This exploding growth isn’t just happening outside of the workplace. A recent blog post from Forbes cited a new study from Trend Micro that shows a large increase in the usage of social networks while in the office and on the clock. The increased usage of social media in the workplace has put companies in a quandary – many don’t have a social media policy or if they do, they aren’t doing a good job of monitoring compliance. According to the results of a Wave VI in the Social Media Index survey, over 50% of the 3,000 global, IT, HR, and finance professionals who participated stated that their company does not have a social media policy or they were unsure if one existed. Commenting on that survey, George Krautzel, co-founder and president of Toolbox.com said,
“As user-generated content continues to make up a greater percentage of a professional’s week, companies need to accelerate their thinking about two things: how to guide employees on properly representing their company when engaging, and how to make their own IP accessible in social channels.”
Companies need to get out in front of this issue and put together a simple and easy to understand social media policy that balances the value social media usage brings to the company against the potential legal liability issues companies can face if social media usage is misused. To ensure all parties are covered, companies need to get legal, marketing and HR in agreement on the same page before issuing a social media policy.
But that isn’t the end of it. Once a policy is in place, then a company must ensure that all employees are notified of the policy and determine how they are going to monitor compliance. How do you do that? There are software applications out there that can help you both ensure all employees acknowledge receipt and store it with their employee data. Even more interesting, there is technology available that can monitor social media compliance and even notify you if employees intentionally or mistakenly violate a company’s policy.
I’ll be exploring these and other HR and social media topics over the next couple of months, including offering up some solutions to these tough problems companies are facing.
Until Next Time,