Use of Social Media in Businesses
The use of social media has developed into an essential component of contemporary life and a necessary instrument for companies to utilize in order to interact with their customers and advertise their goods and services. However, it is also a source of potential liability because an employee’s use of social media can have either a positive or negative effect on the company, even if it is done on the employee’s own time and from the employee’s account. This is true even if the employee is posting the content from their account (s). Companies and huge organizations need to take preventative measures to ensure that their employees’ use of social media is in accordance with their company’s standards and does not put them in a position where they could be held legally liable for their actions.
Having a comprehensive social media policy in place is the first step that companies should take to protect themselves and should be their priority. The appropriate use of social media and the repercussions for infractions of this policy should be outlined in this document. For instance, the procedure could state that employees shouldn’t publish anything unfavorable about the company or its other workers or that they shouldn’t disclose confidential information about the company. Employers should also include language in the policy that explicitly states that posts made on personal accounts are still representative of the company and can lead to disciplinary action if they violate the policy. This language should note that posts made on personal accounts are still usual for the company (Henderson, 2021).
A social media policy should be in place, but companies should also take the time to educate and train their staff on the approach they have in place. This includes providing training on how to use social media in a professional manner and on the potential consequences of violating the policy. Additionally, this includes providing training on how to use social media professionally. Employees should also be made aware of the company’s expectations for posts, such as whether or not posts should be related to the company or its products and whether or not they are permitted to interact with customers on social media. This information should be communicated to employees.
Monitoring software can also be used by companies to keep tabs on the social media activity of their staff members and ensure that it complies with company guidelines. This can include software that searches for particular words or phrases, as well as software that can notify employers of posts made by employees that may violate the policy. Last but not least, businesses ought to make sure that their legal counsel examines any posts or comments to guarantee that they are up to par with the requirements of the company.
In conclusion, in order to protect themselves from the possibility of incurring legal liability as a result of the use of social media by their employees, businesses need to take preventative measures. This includes implementing a comprehensive social media policy, providing employees with training and education, using monitoring software to track employee activity on social media, and having legal counsel review any posts or comments to ensure they are in line with the standards of the company. Businesses can protect themselves from potential legal repercussions and maintain a favorable public image by requiring their employees to adhere to the guidelines above regarding their use of social media platforms.
Henderson, J. (2021, April 1). How to Protect Your Business from Social Media Liability. Retrieved April 18, 2021, from https://www.vistahr.com/blog/how-to-protect-your-business-from-social-media-liability
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Social media is both an essential business tool and a source of potential liability. Anyone acting on behalf of another is an agency. When it comes to a business’s social media presence, an employee can be seen as an agency, which can lead to legal issues. Many companies, huge organizations, have social media policies. Managers at every level need to know how to communicate with their employees about the company’s social media policy and to keep the company’s public relations in mind.
Research a company’s social media policy and then answer the questions below based on your personal experience and research.
Based on the policy you found, how can an employee’s use of social media positively or negatively affect their company, even if done on their own time and from their account(s)? What legal method could the company use to mitigate exposure?
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