Just like any tool of the technology era, social media use has its place. While the ability to reach thousands of customers and potential clients helps your business, there’s a whole other side to the coin of employee use.
While employers might benefit from teaching employees to use corporate accounts, some employees might think that the use of their own personal accounts is sanctioned as well. This is when things get complicated.
Obviously, then, employers must find a way to use social media as a tool instead of a hindrance or risk factor. Here are six ways to ensure successful and safe social media use in the workplace:
Don’t Mix Personal with Professional
As convenient as employees might find posting corporate posts through their personal account, it’s never worth the risk. A seemingly innocent post on a personal account says things about your company that you might not want.
Set clear boundaries that employees understand, including prohibition of personal account usage on the clock. Emphasize that while at work, their time on social media should be just that—work.
Employee usage shouldn’t represent playtime, casual social interaction, or a time to surf and fall down a rabbit hole. Encourage employees to make every action on social media to do with you, whether that’s your product, persona, brand, or company goals.
Review Policies Often
Smaller companies sometimes experience a regular turnover rate, which means that new employees need training as often as they come. Don’t let logistical training get in the way of a reminder to take care on corporate accounts.
Instill in new and current employees that personal use shouldn’t happen, and that it’s unacceptable to disclose personal or insider information online. The more you revisit these policies, the more seriously employees will take them. It may also be beneficial to bring in a third party company like Global Learning Systems to teach safe security awareness and compliance training.
You can’t—and shouldn’t—force employees to report mistakes or mishaps on social media. The best way to ensure total transparency is to provide a safe and understanding environment.
If an employee reports something they did, commend them for doing so. Don’t spare them punishment, but keep in mind that accidents happen.
Deal With Problems Sensibly
An accidental post on your corporate account may quickly get out of hand. Delete an inappropriate material, and swiftly apologize for the problem. Admitting fault is key here—don’t just sweep problems under the rug.
For instance, personal Facebook accounts should never be used for commercial gain. Play by the rules to protect your company from potential problems.
Limit Corporate Account Access
One of the best ways to ensure your company’s account stays appropriate and free of personal information, limit who uses it. Business that give everyone access to the corporate account often come up against major issues, because this promotes a casual attitude as well as increasing opportunity for problems.