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Do You Need A Social Media Policy?

Social media has taken the world by storm. While you may use it as a method to promote your business, you might also find that it consumes the days of many of your staff members. With lots of games and other things on these sites, it is common for people to waste hours on social media sites. If you allow internet access to your staff, you may need to consider how much time they are wasting on social media and other non-work related sites and to debate if you need to create a social media policy or not. Employees that only spend a few minutes on it are not the ones you need to worry about, it is the employees that get on multiple times a day or spend hours on end using the site at work.

Like any company policy that you create, a social media policy will need to clearly state what is acceptable and not acceptable in the professional environment. If you have a lot of employees using the sites, you will likely need to address the wasted time and profit loss from it. A social media policy will clearly state the boundaries that are allowed with work internet access.

How can you create a good social media policy? Here are some helpful tips that can give you a chance to create a strong social media policy for your staff to abide by:
1. Time limit. If you plan on giving them internet access, you must establish exactly how much personal time they are allowed to have. About 15 minutes of personal internet use is common in the workplace. You can use a program that tracks online activity to see if you have employees that are abusing the allotted time and it may require you to block internet access to their computer.
2. Productivity. Employees may abide by the time limit but due to the information they read, it could cause them to become distracted and it can hurt productivity. It is a smart idea to notice how much time is wasted with social media and how it is starting to take it's toll on the production for the company.
3. Company objectives. When creating a social media policy you really need to address the issue of what is benefiting the company. Is social media in-line with the company goals and objectives? In the majority of cases, it is not going to help the company at all so it should be something that can only be accessed at home and not during work hours.

When you develop a social media policy you need to present it to the employees in a clear manner. You need to make sure you are being very clear with what your expectations are for them and that social media abuse or use at all will not be tolerated. To protect yourself you need to have each employee sign the new social media policy and to date it as this shows they clearly understand it and agree to the new terms. You can use this information against them if they are caught using social media when you have banned it from company computers.

The goal of every company is to create a strong company image and it can be hard to do this when your employees are playing around on social media sites all day. When customers come in, they will likely see that the employees are not engaged in helping them but are focused more on their facebook news feed. It is behavior like this that must not be tolerated when you are establishing a strong social media policy.

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