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Tips for updating your social media policy

In the past, it was sufficient for employers to have a simple social media policy. An employer could essentially bar employees from using company devices to post nonwork-related content on social media and mandate that work-related posts be business appropriate.

But, with social media on platforms like TikTok — where users can upload videos to be filtered through a feed and shared with millions of other users — taking over, now is a good time to review and update your company’s social media policy.

In considering policy updates, you might at first be tempted to ban employees from posting on TikTok or similar apps.

However, employees who are active on social media might be in a good position to understand the social pulse of your customer base, and in turn, help the company grow by using these platforms to your company’s advantage.

Furthermore, the new generation of employees is accustomed to networking, collaborating and problem-solving via social media. Enabling these activities in your workplace might make your company more desirable to Gen Z and younger millennial applicants.

Make sure that your social media policy has the necessary provisions to address legal and business concerns.

Here are some key general areas to consider in re-evaluating your company social media policy:

  • Address privacy and confidentiality: Include a provision that bars employees from posting videos that expose private, business-related matters on public platforms. For example, an employee who makes a TikTok recording of their cool at-home workspace while a Zoom meeting is in progress could be broadcasting proprietary information to the world.
  • Bar any posts or videos that harm the company’s reputation: Social media consumers prefer posts that seem authentic, which means people posting are trying to be “real.” That can result in employees sharing information that makes the company look bad, such as complaints about colleagues or working conditions. That kind of posting needs to be regulated in a social media policy.
  • Make clear that all other workplace rules apply to social media: Include a reminder that all existing workplace policies — such as anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and confidentiality policies — apply in a social-media context. At the same time, address the unique risks that arise in cases where employees are encouraged to engage with your company’s brand on social media and the rules around doing that.

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