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Do You Have a Social Media Policy In Place?

20150212_144930With the rise of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, to name but a few, Social Media has become a part of everyday life, even if you don’t like it. If you want to market your business you have to factor social media into your marketing mix.

With Social Media all about creating a “noise” about your brand, what do you do to protect what your staff are saying about your business? Do you have a social media policy as part of your employee handbook? What happens if you find a member of staff brings your company into disrepute on social media?

As Dawn Cross from face2faceHR has reported in her latest newsletter it can happen

“Offensive comments on Twitter were gross misconduct

In this case, an employee of a retailer set up a personal Twitter account and used it to follow the 100-odd stores he was responsible for, and engage with them. 28 offensive tweets were reported, and he was dismissed for gross misconduct.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed with the employer that the offensive tweets did constitute gross misconduct. There was no doubt that the tweets were public, viewable at least by the managers of the 100 stores, but also potentially by anyone else including their followers.

The EAT felt that the employer did not need to prove that anyone had been offended, only that they could have been, and the fact that the employee was not identifiable as working for the company was not relevant.

Although this is good news for employers, it’s worth noting that one of the reasons the initial tribunal found it was unfair dismissal was that the employer didn’t have a clear enough policy on social media.”

This example shows that it is important that you have your Policy and Procedures up to date.

My thanks to Dawn for letting me reproduce her article. Dawn can be contacted on 01480 387933

 

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