Guest blog by Leigh Hunt, HR Adviser.

72% of adults now visit Facebook every month, and there are some 500million tweets every day.

There is no doubt social media is becoming an essential part of most businesses marketing strategy – it’s free so why not!?

With this comes the challenge of how you manage this effectively for your business together with the increasing personal everyday use by employees. Many organisations have general IT policies which merely mention social media – but perhaps it’s time to review this and take it more seriously – as it can pose significant threats, as well as opportunities to your organisation.

My Top Tips

  1. Make a clear distinction between what is allowed for business versus personal use – both during and out of working hours.

  2. Ensure individuals make clear that any views expressed on social media sites are their own and not made on behalf of the Company – particularly where they are clearly associated with the Company.

  3. Once posted – it’s out there! Ensure staff understand the potential impact of what they post – training for staff is very important to understand the legal implications as well as potential reputational damage to the Company if posts are perceived negatively.

  4. Be clear when social media can be used and how it can be accessed e.g. can be Facebook be used during working hours and via company PC’s?

  5. How will you deal with breaches of the policy – normally this would be your disciplinary policy for reasons of misconduct such as damage to reputation, defamatory comments or breaches of confidentiality rules.

  6. Be clear, but not limiting on your policy scope – new social media sites are appearing every week so don’t limit your policy by being too specific.

  7. Be aware of security threats – with social media comes unwanted distribution of spam or malware, phishing attempts – make sure you protect your assets against such attacks.

If you have any queries about social media or employing members of staff please contact one of our friendly advisers at your local Business Gateway office:

Aberdeen City & Shire - 01224 289 700
Tayside - 01382 443 400

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