On Second Thought Writing a Social Media Policy

Workplace social media is filled with potential land mines for employers and employees. Developing a social media policy is a step toward preventing a public relations and legal disaster.

- By Joshua Ferdinand

Some employers would like to ban social media use by employees during business hours, but that kind of policy is not practical in most cases.

Social media has become a critical marketing, sales and customer service tool. At work, employees are also going to sneak peeks at personal text messages, slip in a few comments on Facebook, post in chat rooms and send tweets via Twitter. This is while managing the company’s social media accounts and interacting with customers, other employees, and the general public.

Employers must develop a social media policy that is communicated, enforced, and regularly updated to better manage the quality and content of the business-related postings. The overriding policy message for employees is this: If there are...

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