No Company Social Media Policy? Exercise Caution!

In our last post, we told you that companies that have not already done so should consider implementing policies or agreements outlining how social media accounts used by employees will be handled at the end of the employment relationship, in addition to outlining how accounts should be used during the employment relationship.  However, the question remains, what if you’re employed with a company does not have a written policy or agreement in place?  Stated simply, use your head.

  • Do not post anything concerning your employer’s business matters, particularly anything that may be remotely confidential in nature.
  • Do not post any rumors or other unflattering statements about the company or your coworkers.
  • Do not give into temptation and sit on Facebook all day, catch up on tweets, or whatever else during work time.
  • Finally, unless the company gives you an account name that includes the company’s name in it, there is no reason for you to include it in your account name.  So, why would you do it anyway?

If the company wants you to use your social media account for business purposes, the safe route is to create an account dedicated solely to that purpose to avoid any commingling of personal and business.  That said, if you already have business contacts connected to or following your personal account, you certainly could post something highlighting the creation of your “work account,” to ensure that your company’s message is reaching the proper audience.  At the end of your employment relationship with the company, you could then relinquish the work account.

It also certainly would not hurt to get any request from the company that you use a social media account for business purposes in writing.  This document should also (ideally) specify who owns the account, identify the types of comments the company wants you to post, identify the types of comments that should not be posted, and how the account will be treated at the end of the employment relationship (which nicely ties back to our post on recommendations for company social media policy).  That, folks, is how you come full circle.

Makes sense right?  Think there’s anything we missed?  You tell us!