Sites like Twitter and LinkedIn give many businesses a boost. But without a policy on proper social network use — your company is wide open for problems.
Staffers who misuse these sites can damage your property, reputation and even land you in legal trouble.
Here are three guidelines on what an effective social networking policy (for professional usage) should do:
1. Influence appropriate “work” usage of sites. Employers have plenty of leeway to enforce what employees can and cannot do on these sites. The most effective way: Creating a policy (or section of your online policy) about social networks and how staffers should use those sites for work-related tasks.
2. Set clear employee boundaries. The policy should prohibit employees from using these sites to:
- engage in illegal activity
- disclose trade secrets
- “water down” copyright-protected or patented info, or
- spread gossip about your firm.
3. Monitor employees’ activity – with their consent. Unfortunately, spelling out what employees can’t do on social networking sites isn’t enough. Employers should also be able to monitor online activity – but only after getting employees’ consent.