Social Media Policy – Why it’s essential your organisation has one

Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors

Most organisations will have internet and email use either written into employee contracts or separate policies and may also block social media applications such as facebook, youtube and twitter from work computers, however this is not enough. You cannot take away the freedom of your employees to engage in social media networking sites out of hours or on personal computers/ devices.

Social Media Policy – Why it’s essential your organisation has one.

Most organisations will have internet and email use either written into employee contracts or separate policies and may also block social media applications such as facebook, youtube and twitter from work computers, however this is not enough. You cannot take away the freedom of your employees to engage in social media networking sites out of hours or on personal computers/ devices.

The only way to prevent a social media issue is to provide a social media policy and training to employees to ensure they follow your  guidelines and understand your reasoning behind them. It is important that your employees do not just see “another policy” in front of them. You must educate them so that they understand the impact they may have on your brand and that in essence as employees they are your brand ambassadors 24/7, not just when they are on the clock.

Even if your firm is not using social media, you still need a policy because your staff are using it in their private lives and they need guidelines to protect your interests and your firms’ reputation.

The main objective with a social media policy is to establish guidelines for an employees participation in social media and make them think about the consequences of any posts they make on blogs, personal websites or social media sites in relation to any effect they may have on the company.

A basic social media policy should include the following guidelines:

– Provide that an employee should state that views expressed on blogs, websites or other forums are their own and do not represent the views of the company, that they are not authorised to speak on behalf of the company  nor represent it

- Employees need to be informed as to whether they need approval before posting information and identify whom they should get approval from.

- State that employees may not share information that is non public or confidential to the company or indeed which breaches any of the firms other policies on any public site

- Provide for disciplinary proceedings for commentary or content that is damaging to the company or which is  defamatory, harassing or otherwise unsavoury

- Prohibit harassment & discrimination

- State that they cannot use the company logo or trademark

- Policy on ‘friending’ co-workers on external social media sites.

- Guidelines on respect for copyright and other intellectual property laws.

Some larger organisations have developed social media training programmes for associates who will officially represent the Company to set out further guidelines for employees who will be representing the company online as official spokespersons.

As social media has increased in terms of relevance in the workplace,  issues have arisen as to ownership of social media accounts between employers and employees. Undoubtedly this will become more common. Ownership should be clearly defined in a social media policy or indeed in an employees contract. It should be clear that the account and any contributions made by the employee  are done as part of the employee’s duties and do not establish any ownership rights. Facebook “likes”, twitter followers and linked in connections are all valuable contacts to a business and a direct line of communication to these people is the entire purpose of social media.  Employers must protect themselves and their social media assets.

Should you require any further information regarding social media policies or guidelines for your company please do not hesitate to contact us at Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors.

© Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors. All rights reserved.

All news
Norwich Pharmacal Orders Ireland - Google, Coinbase, Twitter, Facebook

A Norwich Pharmacal Order is a legal order that is used to compel an innocent third party to disclose information about another party who is involved in some form of malfeasance. Norwich Pharmacal Orders are becoming a common legal tactic to stifle online trolls on social media, as well as trace anonymous individuals online

Text Link
Pre controlled function roles for VASP applications

If you are a VASP in Ireland, you will need to register with the Central Bank for AML/CFT purposes. If you are a firm that is not established in Ireland, or you are not conducting business as a VASP before the 2021 Act was brought in, then you must be registered with the Central Bank before any services commence. As part of the regulation of VASPs with the Central Bank of Ireland, individuals holding pre-approval controlled functions within a VASP must be approved under the latest fitness and probity regime of the Central Bank.

Text Link
DIGITAL ASSETS AND DIGITAL INHERITANCE

Digital inheritance is a new term that is becoming more widespread across the globe in relation to the transfer of digital assets in a broad sense. There is a completely new "digital asset" that has been created in terms of cryptocurrencies and therefore with that, inheritance queries follow.

Text Link
Why choose Ireland as a location for payment institutions

Ireland has slowly but surely established itself as an alluring destination for businesses in the Fintech sector.‍ From a solid regulatory framework to an advanced financial services ecosystem, Ireland’s financial technology sector is booming right now and is home to a surprising number of reputable domestic and international payment institutions. Let's take a closer look at the reasons behind this below.‍

Text Link