We know that social media is an excellent tool to get the word out about your small business, such as raising brand awareness and interacting with customers. We also know everyone has the right to express themselves. But Internet use must be tightly controlled when it comes to the work environment. You have to establish clear policies in writing.
Avoid Negative Impact on Your Small Business in Tampa Bay
Nearly everyone has some gripe about work, (even if it’s a single bad day!) After all, the office is where most of us spend the lion’s share of our days. But you can’t count on everyone to keep quiet about it on various social media channels. It can easily be taken out of context, even if it’s inadvertent.
- Your workers may not realize that tweeting something negative on Twitter or posting an offhand comment about a work situation on Facebook will essentially broadcast it where you don’t want it to go, such as potential customers and your competitors.
- Careless comments can also include inappropriate comments about a co-worker.
- Also, your workers should never reveal proprietary information, trade secrets or copyrighted information online.
Your recourse for protecting your business and brand is to create a policy.
How to Protect Your Business
Legal experts say you, as a small business owner, walk a fine line between managing employees’ personal and professional lives. However, there are some things you can do to protect your business from negative social media in Tampa.
- Create a clear policy about social media use while employees are on the clock. Will you allow it? If so, will you put limits on time and types of activities?
- Emphasize that workers can be held legally accountable for their online activities, even if they have private and public accounts.
- Ask your employees to consider carefully what they post; Internet activity carries a permanent trail, even if one attempts to conceal their identity.
- You may want to seek a confidentiality agreement that expressly tells workers they must not disclose proprietary or confidential information on the Internet, and then spell out the consequences. This will vary from company to company.
- Encourage workers who are upset or frustrated to speak privately with managers or coworkers – not vent on social media. Explain how it hurts their reputation as well as the company’s.
In the end you will have to rely on each worker’s good faith efforts to use reasonable judgment and be mindful of privacy settings. It is wise to talk to a legal expert as you craft your policy – it is a good investment. It’s an equally good investment to hire an expert to manage your social media in Tampa: Personalized Marketing.
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