Social Network/Media Policy

Purpose

Social media offers the opportunity for people to gather in online communities of shared interest and create, share or consume content. This policy stipulates The Business’ expectations with regard to Social media and guidelines to ensure that workers who use social media and make reference to The Business, its clients or workers.

Scope

This policy applies to The Business and its staff.

Policy

The four main principles in using social media are:

  • Be professional
  • Be confidential
  • Be respectful
  • Be accountable.

If you are discussing The Business company related issues in your personal use of social media platforms, you are required to adhere to this policy. This policy applies to all workers and to any other person representing the organisation.

Social media tools include:

  • Social networking sites, e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster
  • Professional networking sites, e.g. LinkedIn
  • Video and photo sharing websites, e.g. Flickr, YouTube
  • Micro-blogging sites, e.g. Twitter
  • Weblogs, including corporate blogs, personal blogs or blogs hosted by traditional media publications
  • Forums and discussion boards such as Facebook discussions, Whirlpool, Yahoo! Groups or Google Groups
  • Online encyclopaedias such as Wikipedia
  • Any other web sites that allow individual users or companies to use simple publishing tools.

Why this policy applies for personal use

While communication through social media networks is primarily for personal use, it doesn’t mean conversations are private. In many cases, online comments can be found through search engines such as Google. Even in cases where only your contacts can see what you write, there is a possibility that one of them will forward what you say and make it visible to a wider audience. As a result, personal conversations about The Business should be discussed responsibly.

The Business may monitor social media channels to evaluate what is being said about The Business and to identify opportunities. It also provides the opportunity for The Business to monitor and respond to negative comments.

Please be aware that any conversations you enter into about The Business are likely to be monitored, and, if found to be inappropriate will be addressed by senior management. Disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, may be taken.

Guidelines

While all The Business workers are welcome to participate in social media, we expect everyone who participates to understand and to follow these simple but important guidelines. Please note these guidelines only apply when referring to The Business its services, staff or competitors.

Show regard for privacy and confidentiality

  • Conform to our privacy, confidentiality and code of conduct policies
  • Disclose only publicly available information and ensure it is accurate
  • Ensure you do not disclose other people’s personal information in social media venues

Be a good ambassador

  • Never represent The Business in a false or misleading way
  • Be aware that your behaviour and opinions reflect on the organisation
  • Respect your audience
  • Don’t post defamatory material, ethnic slurs, personal insults, threats, obscenities, or engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable in our workplace

Remain positive and respectful

  • When disagreeing with others’ opinions in reference to The Business keep it appropriate and polite
  • Feel free to ask your manager for advice and/or to disengage from the dialogue in a polite manner that reflects well on The Business
  • Don’t cite or reference The Business, it’s workers, clients, partners or suppliers without their approval

Use common sense

  • Never enter into a social media topic related to The Business if it may be considered a crisis situation
  • Refer all social media activity around crisis topics to your manager
  • Never comment on anything related to legal matters, litigation, or any parties The Business may be in legal proceedings
  • If you are about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, let it sit for a few hours or a day and think again whether this is what you want to say. If it still makes you feel uncomfortable ask for advice
  • Never use social media to discuss incidents, as this may jeopardise the investigation process.