Many small business owners mistakenly believe that a social media policy is only for large companies with many employees. In fact, social media policies are very important for businesses of all sizes.
What is a social media policy?
A social media policy is your business’ way of telling employees and independent contractors in advance what you consider to be acceptable and unacceptable use of social networking sites like Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Twitter, and others.
This legal document is important because it helps you protect your online reputation. You don’t want those working for you to identify their affiliation with your business at the same time they’re posting content on social networks that could hurt your business.
Let’s face it. It’s expensive and time-consuming to recover your reputation on the Internet after someone associated with your business has done something offensive that gets tied to your company simply because they do work for you. You will pay a bundle to reputation management businesss to clean up an online mess after the fact.
Can a social media policy bulletproof your business from improper use of Facebook and other social networking websites? No. However, your policy can significantly reduce your risk that an employee or freelancer doing work for your company will harm your reputation.
What should you put in your social media policy? That’s something for you to discuss with your Internet attorney.