Managing the Company's Social Media Properties
Who is driving the bus?
The average midsize or large company (1000 employees or more) has 178 “social media assets” (Twitter handles, employee blogs, etc.)–yet only 25% of companies offer social business training to their employees. These statistics come from a Jan. 2012 Altimeter Group report called A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation.
Start by creating a social media policy that spells out the guidelines and goals of engaging online on behalf of the company. That's what we've done. With presences on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and two web sites, our social media assets almost outnumber our employees. Here's our policy. We're sharing it to help get your started on your own. Training your employees is step two. For help with that, consider offering our business etiquette seminar program to the individuals in your organization with social media responsibility.
The Emily Post Institute, Inc.
Social Media Policy
The company has in place policies that govern use of its own electronic communications systems, equipment, and resources which employees must follow. We encourage you to use good judgment when communicating via social media.
“Social media” includes all means of communicating or posting information or content of any sort on the Internet, including your own or someone else’s web log or blog, journal or diary, personal web site, social networking or affinity web site, web bulletin board or a chat room, whether or not associated or affiliated with the company, as well as any other form of electronic communication.
The same principles and guidelines found in the company’s Employee Handbook policies apply to your activities online. Ultimately, you are solely responsible for what you post online. Before creating online content, consider some of the risks and rewards that are involved. Keep in mind that any of your conduct that adversely affects your job performance, the performance of fellow employees or otherwise adversely affects clients, vendors, suppliers, people who work on behalf of the company or its legitimate business interests may result in disciplinary action up to and including immediate discharge.
The following is a general and non-exhaustive list of guidelines you should keep in mind:
- Always be fair and courteous to fellow employees, clients, vendors, suppliers or people who work on behalf of the company. Also, keep in mind that you are more likely to resolve work related complaints by speaking directly with your co-workers or by utilizing our Talk to Us policy than by posting complaints to a social media outlet. Nevertheless, if you decide to post complaints or criticism, avoid using statements, photographs, video or audio that reasonably could be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening or intimidating, that disparages clients, employees, vendors or suppliers or that might constitute harassment or bullying. Examples of such conduct might include offensive posts meant to intentionally harm someone’s reputation or posts that could contribute to a hostile work environment on the basis of race, age, gender, national origin, color, disability, religion or any other status protected by federal, state or local law or company policy. Inappropriate postings that may include discriminatory remarks, harassment, retaliation, and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct will not be tolerated and may subject you to disciplinary action up to and including immediate discharge.
- Make sure you are always truthful and accurate when posting information or news. If you make a mistake, correct it quickly. Be open about any previous posts you have altered. Use privacy settings when appropriate. Remember that the Internet archives almost everything; therefore, even deleted postings can be searched. The Internet is immediate, nothing that is posted ever truly “expires.” Never post any information or rumors that you know to be false about the company, fellow employees, clients, vendors, suppliers, people working on behalf of the company or competitors.
- Maintain the confidentiality of the company trade secrets and proprietary or confidential information. Trade secrets may include information in online casinos regarding the development of systems, processes, products, know-how and technology. Do not post internal reports, policies, procedures or other internal business-related confidential communications.
- Do not create a link from your blog, website or other social networking site to the company’s website without identifying yourself as a company employee.
- Express only your personal opinions. Never represent yourself as a spokesperson for the company. If the company is a subject of the content you are creating, be clear and open about the fact that you are an employee and make it clear that your views do not represent those of the company, fellow employees, clients, vendors, suppliers, or people working on behalf of the company. If you do publish a blog or post online related to the work you do or subjects associated with the company, make it clear that you are not speaking on behalf of the company. It is best to include a disclaimer such as “The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Emily Post Institute, Inc.”
- You must refrain from using social media while on working time or while using equipment we provide, unless it is work-related as authorized by your supervisor, or other member of management; or consistent with the Acceptable Use of Electronic Communications Policy.
- Do not use any of the company email addresses to register on social networks, blogs or other online tools utilized for personal use.
- If your employment with The Emily Post Institute, Inc., ends, your administrator access to the company’s web and social media platforms will be terminated. Upon termination, you will refrain from accessing the company’s web and social media platforms as an administrator.
Employees should not speak to the media on the company’s behalf without contacting their supervisor. All media inquiries should be directed to them.If you have questions or need further guidance, please contact your supervisor.
Employees are encouraged to report violations of this policy. The company prohibits retaliation against any employee for reporting a possible deviation from this policy or for cooperating in an investigation. Any employee who retaliates against another employee for reporting a possible deviation from this policy or for cooperating in an investigation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination.