So you know how to use Facebook. And you know (assisted by common sense hopefully!) what you can and can’t do when using Facebook as an individual.

But what if you are the employer? Wondering what the do’s and don’ts might be for Facebook in terms of your employees and its use within your business? Well employers read on. And employees…also read on for some juicy insider info!

It’s said that most people will only remember three points around fifteen minutes after they have read or listened to information. So i’ll give you five do’s and don’ts for employers and Social Media - just to put all your memories to the test!

1. Do...Consider whether you allow or block Social Media on your company computers and network. Both can have consequences - blocking Social Media provides you with greater control over use of company computers, but keep in mind that unless you operate in the wilds of Outer Mongolia, most employees will have access to Social Media on their mobile devices. This makes the often quoted issue of Productivity redundant as they will continue to use Social Media whether you block it or not. Allowing Social Media can boost morale and demonstrate your trust in your employees, so don’t be too quick to batten down the Social Media hatches!

2. Don’t... Use Social Media to check up on, or monitor candidates during recruitment. Well... Not so much a don’t but more be careful. Everyone likes a sneaky peak to see what they are letting themselves in for and making sure they aren’t hiring The Hooded Claw, but unless you have pre-outlined that Social Media checks may take place this has the potential to cause issues. Enter the concept of ‘discrimination’ - every person has a right to be considered regardless of race, sex, age, sexual orientation and so on, and if you conduct Social Media checks and a candidate is rejected and they perceive it’s because of one of those issues, they are within the law to launch a discrimination case. We know you’re not like that and rejected them purely for their lower experience, but they don’t know that. So be careful how you tread and if you plan on doing this, let them know beforehand.

3. Do... Implement a Social Media Policy, and review it regularly. Prendergast Jnr from accounts has been posting saying how rubbish your biggest rival is... But not worded as nicely as that. Or spreading strongly worded hate posts all over an institution’s page. Do you want this? No. Then you need to introduce a clear policy outlining what your employees can and can’t do and say. You must make it clear that they are representing the company, and consider this when making posts. Remember that making unjust or defamatory comments can result in legal cases, so ensure your employees know this! Also remember to review the policy frequently, as Social Media is changing all the time! Dear, oh dear Prendergast.

4. Don’t... Make knee jerk reactions when dealing with Social Media issues and employees. Someone posts something - you call a disciplinary. They didn’t realise it was wrong - you give them the Alan Sugar Special. Later, out-with the heat of the moment you realise it actually wasn’t that bad - firing them was heavy handed. Oops.
Think about social media carefully and consider the greater picture and don’t make hasty decisions. Remember - heavily restricting and monitoring employee outlets can only damage trust and morale.

5. Do... Realise that Social Media is... Social - and public. Because actual face-to-face interaction is removed using Social Media, it’s easier for people to say and do things that they otherwise wouldn’t, or would think twice about. You, or an employee has posted something- for example confidential information, then quickly realised the error of their ways and removed it. But by this time it might have been shared, and now it’s out there, and not out there like a hippy enjoying himself. Things can easily go viral, slipping out of the control of your now sweaty anxious hands.

We hope these 5 top tips come in handy when you are considering social media as an employer and not playing Candy Crush.

If you would like to source some more guidance as an employer we have a few workshops with business advice that may come in handy:

Alternatively you can find a wealth of guidance on the Business Gateway website:

or you can call a local and friendly advisor today on either 01224 289725 (for Grampian) and 01382 434400 for Tayside Region. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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