Social Media Use Policy

Social Media Use Policy

Everywhere you turn today you will find social media. People taking selfies at the grocery store, responding to Instagram while walking down the street, and of course checking Facebook status while clocked in at work. What do you do when social media use gets out of hand in the workplace? It can seem like a never-ending battle with employees, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  

Before you go any further, draft up a social media use policy. This will save you headaches and possible litigation. Employees can agree to it and follow it or they can find work elsewhere. Sounds harsh, I know, but your business's reputation is not worth Mary’s selfie. Don’t get me wrong, the policy doesn’t have to be rigid and forceful. Your employees are adults and can handle responsibility. Similar to a job description, policies allow for clarification and accountability. Great for both employer and employee.  

To create a social media use policy, start by splitting the policy between company official accounts and personal accounts. Then take a look at rules and regulations. With this part, you want to clearly overview your brand as well as how you want it perceived. It is important that employees are on the same page for this. That way the message is consistent across all platforms, no matter who posts or comments, talk about confidentiality and what company info can or cannot be shared. It can be similar to the non-disclosure you had your employees sign when they got hired. Then, of course, outline the potential consequences to not following these guidelines. Ensure these are clear and concise because a loophole can be quickly manipulated. Then you can go onto the same steps but for personal use.  

Once you have that jotted down, you can move to the next part, roles and responsibilities. It is in this section that you have to figure out who will have access to the company’s social media or to any in general. Think about it, it might not be best to block it altogether. You can harness the power of social media for your benefit though if you play it smart. Your marketing team will need it, well, to market. Sales can keep in touch with prospects or members easily and it gives all parties conformation that you care. Beyond that, you may want to give your receptionist or office manager access in order to help with customer service on different platforms.  

While working on this, keep a few things in mind. Don’t discourage use, and ensure the language of the document sounds positive. Employees will get upset with a big change to what they’re used to. A list of don’ts is only frustrating and discouraging. Also, be transparent on why you have a policy. Let them know that productivity has been affected. Not only that, be clear with them about the potential security risks you are trying to avoid. Train the employees using company social media how to see security risks and what to look for. Then finally, explain how a policy keeps everyone honest and accountable. As long as you are transparent about the new policy, implementing it shouldn’t be a huge issue. If you have employees assist you in drafting this document, that’s even better. They are part of the change and not being steamrolled by it. 

Ma! Did you make a new FB account?

Ma! Did you make a new FB account?

Have you ever received a Facebook friend request from your mom even though she is already a friend of yours on Facebook? So, you call her up to make sure she didn’t forget her password again and just create a new FB page. Then right after that, “she” sends you a video link saying you’re in a YouTube video. You think, “Well dang I didn’t think she even knew how to use messenger”. As the confusion mounts, you realize, momma’s FB has been cloned in an effort to hack your account. Not today hackers! 

In this day and age of social media there are two very specific ways hackers compromise your data. Cloning is the first. This is when someone makes a social media account by using someone else’s identity. You’ve all seen them, mom is already your friend on FB but now you’re receiving another friend request from her. The new page has one photo, no posts and a handful of mutual friends that fell for the fake profile. This within itself is not hacking. It’s incredibly easy to copy a photo and create a basic FB page with basic information. The idea behind cloning is to get you to think this is your friend or loved one so they can hack your information. Social engineering can come into play, asking mutual friends for money – saying you’ve been arrested. Another way is by having the clone account send malware to friends.  

This exact situation happens more often than not, but what does it have to do with your business? Mom may not work with you, but take her lesson as a valuable warning. When Facebook account funny business, a multitude of things could occur, compromising your business, clients and other important data you may have stored. Imagine receiving a message on your company Facebook messenger from a friend saying “you’re in a YouTube video”. The link is readily available, you have the urge to click on it, it could be bad PR right? So, you click it and instantly, the malware takes over your computer. Passwords and logins are automatically stolen from you and in the hands of hackers. Not good. This could compromise payment methods or pertinent company information. This hacked info could turn into full-blown social engineering if you don’t pay attention. The worst part is that almost everyone on your friend list will get bombarded by a similar message creating a domino effect. It’s terrible to infect your loyal followers and you’ll see a lot unfollow you because of the inconvenience.  

Facebook is not the only platform to worry about, in fact, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat have all fallen victim to hacks. One huge reason for this is because people don’t know better when it comes to security information. Social media is so easy to use that people often forget that information can be compromised. Careless clicking is another culprit. Aren’t you curious what your favorite coffee says about your personality? Its quizzes and fun time wasters like this that allows hackers to access information. So simply clicking on these silly things opens your account to malware and in some cases ransomware. Users have reported being locked out of their accounts, accounts being deleted and some even being held for ransom until users paid the hacker. If you are using these platforms for business, you must be extra leery about what you are clicking on. It’s a terrible day when the content on your social media disappears over an avoidable breach.  

These things don’t have to happen to you as long as you are smart about your social media. Make sure whoever is running it is well trained in cybersecurity. Also, ensure your passwords are strong and not easy to hack. Then go check on mom and give her a fast and efficient cybersecurity breakdown. This subject seems obvious, but the amount of people that get hacked each year as well as the amount of stolen data continues to grow. Hackers are also constantly looking for new ways to take information. Be vigilant and up to date on current trends. Protect your business from these sly social media mongers.  

Social Media Can Increase Productivity and Morale

Social Media Can Increase Productivity and Morale

Watch out Gen x’s this blog is going to sting a little. Today’s workforce is being appropriated by millennials. Is not news that there are many misconceptions surrounding this generation. Every aspect of life in the 21st century has been rocked by these dang millennials. Everything from education, government and economy have been affected by this generational shift. The workforce is naturally one of them to change as well… and yes millennials do work.   

The good ol’ days of back-breaking hard labor is still valid, however, it is being done in a different form using something millennials grew up with, technology. When Grandpa said “work smarter not harder” they took that to heart and have run with it. With that being said, most businesses restrict social media use or ban it altogether while on the clock. But is that necessary, and is it really helping productivity? That answer is interesting. It just might be hurting your business's productivity. Granted, driving a forklift and seeing what’s on Facebook is not an ideal situation at all. However, there is more to social media use at work that meets the eye. 

 

  1. All employees need a mental break periodically. Sometimes that 15 min break just doesn’t do it. In order to continue to create quality work, it is usually a good thing to take a break. Even on a break an employee often stare at the same four walls they’ll spend 8 hours in, so breaking up the content is necessary for quality.  

  2. Another benefit of utilizing social media in the workplace is the ability to network and make professional connections. Sometimes you may deal with vendors, buyers or other professional third parties to your business. Knowing these people and being able to socialize a bit can help in making deals or simple preparation in your job.  

  3. It may actually save you time! Social media can assist employees in getting answers to their questions. Your employees won’t be knocking on the door or calling you with incessant questions. Others online can help them. Whether they're networking with collogues through a peer group or watching YouTube in order to troubleshoot, social media can increase DIY work. It will also assist greatly in promoting your business. 

  4. Social media will also assist in building a rapport with co-workers and other teams within the company. It encourages communication and cohesiveness. Both of these things are usually a pain point for most businesses, so if it can be increased and utilized through something fun like social media. It’s a win-win.  

  5. Social media can improve employee recognition and retention. Co-workers and employers can see positive things being posted on personal accounts and groups. It adds to corporate culture by allowing recognition to occur. In the busyness of business, recognition can be overlooked which is a shame since it’s such a motivator.  It also can boost morale in general, simply being trusted with social media.  

 

It can be difficult to adopt this form of culture to your work especially when you’re stuck in running a business in an outdated fashion. Try to be open-minded when working with your millennial workforce. It may be frustrating trying to adapt to a new technology or even attempt to understand it. However, you never know, perhaps you just might learn something. The labor may look different, but it is just as effective if not more. Test your productivity and give your people a chance. Internet culture and corporate culture can go hand in hand.