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If your company does not have a social media policy, it’s a good idea to consider putting something in place. Once you have explained the boundaries of the policy, make sure to monitor and update it regularly as trends regarding social media are constantly changing. The blog where industry experts share insights about the opportunities and challenges of providing global HR solutions on a local scale.
It’s almost impossible now to run a business without recourse to social media channels, and platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Instagram, can be invaluable tools in boosting brand awareness. The recent sexism scandal on LinkedIn, in which a senior lawyer was accused and publicly outed for his sexist comments on a younger female’s “stunning” picture, demonstrates quite how delicate the line between personal conduct and personnel misconduct can be. In 2013, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at IAC, Justine Sacco, found herself at the centre of a Twitter storm mid-flight between London and Cape Town. The fallout from the ‘Sacco Saga’ demonstrates why employees need to behave appropriately and professionally even when they are outside the workplace. For more on how to turn employees into brand ambassadors, read our recent blog, and to review our own social media efforts, check out LinkedIn and Twitter. Unique brewing techniques, surprising ingredients and innovative products have unlocked an approach to beer that rivals the wine industry for classification. Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that our economy added 321,000 jobs in November. Employers may try to limit the use of social media at work by restricting access to certain websites.
Creating and maintaining company social media profiles allows the company to have an easily searchable online presence. Allowing employees to access social media profiles online during work hours can be a distraction. A benefit of social media in the workplace is that it can be utilized as a public relations tool for companies.

One of the downsides of using social media in the workplace is the possibility of opening the corporate network to malware. Before embarking on the flight, Sacco had tweeted from her personal account “Going to Africa.
Though they may use social media for personal purposes, employees are ultimately brand ambassadors, and should be reminded of this when it comes to managing online interactions. Among the most notorious offenders is current Presidential candidate and entrepreneur, Donald Trump, who has come under repeated fire for his controversial comments on race, gender and religion.
Although in this case a little embarrassment may have been the worst outcome, misinformed and offensive content can seriously damage a brand’s reputation. Increased social media communication between employers and employees can help boost sales by almost a quarter, as employees feel more engaged as brand ‘activists’ – so encouraging personal use of social media clearly has its benefits. Employees may lose valuable work time playing games, talking to friends and updating their own personal profiles. It allows a measure of transparency to the company through posts, blogs and pictures and makes the company easier to relate to for the average consumer.
Most recently, Trump slipped up on social media by retweeting an image of new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sent by a follower who claimed it was his grandfather.
It’s a medium that should be handled with care though, to ensure your business stays on the right side of the delicate line between personal conduct and personnel misconduct. Employers are faced with the need to develop social media policies that allow the company to reap the positive benefits of social media use while minimizing the negative effects. The use of social media as a promotional tool also requires that the company have at least one person on staff who is trusted to update the corporate social media profile. To keep employees away from the distraction of social media networks while on the job many companies have chosen to implement a social media policy to limit the use of company property for personal internet media. Companies can use social media to gather mailing lists, distribute sale and special offer information, showcase product pictures and post positive media reviews.

This type of software can also create an entrance point into the company’s network for hackers, causing a possible security breach, and place viruses in the system that can corrupt files.
This was the second such blunder for the politician; last year he was left red-faced after accidentally tweeting a picture of infamous serial killers Fred and Rose West, fooled into thinking they were the parents of a follower and first-time voters. Key to social media success in the workplace is management is setting a good example to employees – both online as well as off. This person is also required to respond to any client questions, concerns or feedback posted to the profile page. However, these policies are difficult to enforce if employees are allowed to use their personal cellphones or bring their own laptops to the workplace. Use of social media for work is a very inexpensive, often free, way to promote the business to a wide audience. I’m white!” – a supposed joke (though like thousands of others, we fail to see the funny side) that backfired catastrophically under the scrutiny of the Twittersphere. Employers must decide if the use of social media outweighs the potential for negative impacts. Given the often high use of work computers for internet access, technical support teams for companies generally scan the system regularly for malware. Despite having relatively few followers, the tweet was picked up and retweeted by a tech blogger who has thousands, and soon spawned its own hashtag. After 80,000 tweets, at least two thirds of which were negative, the Q&A was cancelled.

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