Social media is about interaction, and for growing companies that interaction is critical. However, both companies and employees make mistakes, whether it be on social media platforms or in some other aspect of their job. Instead of reacting to that mistake, sometimes (most of the time) it is better to preempt that mistake with a comprehensive social media policy training. Yes, that’s right – if social media is about interaction, then the policy must have an interactive component too. Otherwise, how many people do you think really read that 20-30 page, expertly crafted policy book?
Just as we train incoming professionals on how to use the company’s intranet system, it’s time to start training them on social media policies as well. Here are 3 key things to include in that training:
(1) Pertinent Laws.
It is not enough to say that “employees must abide by all laws and regulations.” Most individuals entering a new industry have no idea what industry-specific laws may apply to them. Spend some time hashing out which laws are imperative and directly relate to your industry, and have your social media lawyer lead an interactive training on it.
Too often, employees mistakenly make comments on their personal, non-company accounts that can get them fired. From their personal blog on Islamofacism to their anti equal marriage rant on Twitter. Many internal human resources departments have felt that these comments on social media platforms can create a “hostile work environment” for co-workers. This can lead to getting fired. Because there is a fine line here between freedom of speech and creating a hostile work environment, the training should lay out very clearly what can and cannot get you fired.
(3) Heavily Regulated Industries.
For industries such as finance, law, and medicine, there are a host of laws and regulations that everyone is supposed to know. Consequently, there are a host of laws and regulations that can be inadvertently violated. Have your social media lawyer review social media related violations in your industry to lead a social media training with industry-specific examples. It will help drive the point home faster than that 30 page handbook will.
For more information on social media law: