Have You Updated Your Policy? Why Employee Social Media Guidelines Matter
Social media has become an integral part of our personal and professional lives. While it offers countless opportunities for businesses to connect with customers, build brand awareness, and drive sales, it also presents significant risk factors that every business owner should be aware of.
Your employees’ or business’s reputation is at stake due to inappropriate use of social media.
Employees are brand ambassadors that can indirectly, or directly influence your business’s reputation through their online behavior. Within recent months, Gucci has fired a newly hired sales associate for posting a TikTok featuring the free merchandise that was gifted to her as a new employee. While the post seemed harmless, Gucci fired her for her caption, “Should I just keep the bag and ghost?” as this violated their social media policy.
Entry level employees are not the only ones to put your business’s reputation at risk. Estee Lauder told executive vice president, John Demsey to leave the company after he posted a meme containing a racial slur on his Instagram account.
According to Express Employment Professionals, 86% of employers say they would fire an employee based on inappropriate posts. Distasteful, inappropriate posts, offensive comments, or sharing confidential information can quickly spread and damage your company’s image. Therefore, educating your employees about the importance of responsible social media usage and establishing clear guidelines is imperative.
The lines between personal and professional life on social media can blur, potentially causing conflicts of interest or ethical dilemmas. Employees who publicly express opinions or affiliations that contradict your company’s values can create a disconnect with your customer base. It’s essential to foster an environment where employees understand the implications of their online presence and how it reflects on your business.
To minimize the risks associated with employee social media usage, consider implementing a Social Media Policy. This policy should provide clear guidelines on what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior on social platforms, as well as the potential consequences of violations. By doing this, you can harness the positive aspects of social media while safeguarding your business from potential harm caused by employee actions online.