Free Policy/Procedure On Personal Use Of Social Media Essay Sample
The company seeks to establish an approval process for the use of social media by employees in their position as representatives of the company. Social media is primarily a communications channel and also informative tool.
Social media- It is an interactive online-based technology used for networking online, sharing information, analysis, and content development. The types of social media include, but not limited to, blogs, social-networking sites, photo and video sharing sites and chat rooms.
Social networking refers to building group chats and information sharing sites involving online groups or communities.
The Management authorizes use of social media on behalf of the company for business purposes only. Representing the company in any social media of any nature must receive approval from the office of the director and deputy director of Communications and Public Relations Department.
Authorization to use social media must be granted from the office of the director and deputy director of Communications and Public Relations, who will have to reach an agreement to approve or decline on the basis of merit.
Request to use social media has to be formally submitted to the respective offices through a written letter or e-mail.
Exemptions to authorization may be granted by the appropriate offices in case of existing conflicting ideas and security jeopardy of the company’s image.
The following are principles and guidelines that apply to use of social media on behalf of the company or for personal use of social media.
The policy does not prohibit the use of social media platforms and other online interactive sites intended for professional development or personal matters.
Employees should get appropriate information before posting images of the company’s members or employees. You should also get appropriate permission to use a third party’s copyright materials or trademarks.
Employees should be aware of the company’s option to observe content and information available through social media. They should also use their judgment in posting materials and information online to ensure it is neither harmful to the company, its employees or the customers.
Employees authorized to use Social Media, must:
Employees are not to publish or post any confidential or private company information on any social media site without the guidance of Communications and Public Relations Department to determine what information is confidential or private to the company.
Employees using social media on the company’s account will conduct any business or engagement in a manner that contributes and promotes the overall company integrity and effectiveness.
The document seeks to address the threats of inappropriate use of social media to the company. It targets all the employees required or opt to use social media for any company-related purpose. The authorizing department for social media use will deliberately regulate and control the information for use in the social media for the good of the company. The document is written using the direct format to ensure the information presentation despite its simplicity delivers the intended message.
The policy covers all employees working at all levels and departments including senior management officers and directors, interns and volunteers.
While social media can be a resourceful communication, networking, and marketing tool, there are underlying factors that if inappropriately used will result in safety and security breach issues. We are aware that the company through our employees are social media users and intentionally or unintentionally may use the platform inappropriately while bearing the company image. In recent years, some corporate players suffered bad image and profile as well as misinterpreted information. Because of inappropriate use of social media by its employees, there are numerous legal suits that emerged due to trademark infringement resulting from posted images and information that is bad for business. To ensure the interests and image of the company remains paramount, the policy will guide all employees seeking to use social media for any communication or informational purpose on behalf of the company (Honigman).
A good example of the social media policy is the US Department of Interior policy. It states that the policy regarding the official and non-official/personal use of social media and social networking tools and services is effective Nov. 18, 2010. The policy describes the official use of social media and social networking tools; especially in the formation and use by DOI or a DOI bureau of a third-party social networking or media account and service as an authorized means of communication or public engagement. The policy does not govern the visiting of third-party social media or social networking websites in a person’s official capacity for research or informational purposes.
Social media is an indispensable part of the larger society, and many corporate entities make use of them (Cross and Parker 131). There are different social media sites each adopted differently by different organizations. Networking is one of the benefits of social media that assists in boosting productivity through ease of communication and interaction between employees. It can also access and evaluate opinions of the public or the clients through the feedbacks or interactions with other stakeholders. The visibility of employees collaborating on social media could reduce the need to assert supervision thus more of job-focused attributes are created (Lovett 14).
Maintaining and operating social media might require a huge amount of bandwidth especially for heavy web activities and that will affect the budget. Also, the greatest social challenge with social media is the addiction. The interactive nature is time-consuming, and that takes up the time allocated to other duties and responsibilities, and consequently production will be adversely affected. It also creates an avenue for a current or former employee to damage the reputation of the company through inappropriate information or objects online. Malicious and inappropriate information gets accessed by millions of users online and thus might destroy the customer base or reduce their trust to the company. Finally, it is easy for competitors to access certain valuable information that could help them get the competitive advantage.
Social media use has to be appropriate at all times, and that is the biggest expectation of the managers. In the actual sense, inappropriate use of the social media could be deliberate or not and to ensure that even in a case of unawareness, the policy on social media use is vital. A detailed policy will reduce or eliminate the chances of inappropriate use of the social media, and it will define the expectations of the use.
Writing a good social media policy has considerations that a company needs to consider. They include:
Incorporate Company’s culture- The policy should understand and allow the reflection of the unique values, culture and ideas of the organization.
Do not discourage social media use- For the positive reasons and contributions of social media use the value it can add to the company should be given an opportunity to manifest. The policy should not ban social media use altogether.
Communicate simply and memorably- The policy should be readable and easily understandable to appeal to the targeted parties.
In conclusion, the social media policy is not all about dos and don’ts but rather a careful analysis and understanding of the organization. The guidelines should fit the existing culture accurately so as it does not disrupt to a large extent the traditional operations (Brian Honningman. (2015).
In order to comprehensively ensure a working and sustainable policy, the guidelines should be open and easily adaptable. That results in making it a culture in itself for the employees to safely make use of the social media (Flynn 232).
Cross, Robert L., and Andrew Parker. The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding how Work Really Gets Done in Organizations. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Press, 2004. Print.
Flynn, Nancy. The Social Media Handbook: Policies, and Best Practices. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer, 2012. Print.
Honignman, Brian. A Practical Guide to Writing an Effective Social Media Policy. Web, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.brianhonigman.com/social-media-policy/
Lovett, John. Social Media Metrics Secrets. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishers, 2011. Print.
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