Social Media Policy
Social media describes the online and technological tools that people use to easily share information and content (including profiles, opinions, insights, experiences, perspectives and media itself) in communities on the internet, thus facilitating conversations and interaction between groups of people.
This Policy is designed to protect the interests of [the Company]’s employees, contractors, interns, volunteers, customers and clients, suppliers and business affiliates, and [the Company] itself when employees use social media.
[The Company] recognises that social media is a rapidly growing and widely used phenomenon. While [the Company] accepts and values the role social media plays in society, it is necessary for guidelines to be developed to ensure that employees and contractors of [the Company] use this style and form of communication in a manner which does not pose a risk to the operations, reputation or culture of the organisation, or a risk to the health, safety or reputation of other employees or contractors of [the Company].
Scope of this Policy
The scope of this policy covers all forms of social media, social networking and blogging. There are numerous social networking sites: however, the more mainstream ones include Facebook, YouTube, My Space, Twitter, Wikipedia and blogging sites.
This policy recognises that as technology changes, there may be other forms of sharing social media and social networking, and this policy will cover any form of sharing information by any medium or by any internet site; website; blog; video clip; social media site; text message, sites such as Facebook, YouTube, My Space, Twitter or Wikipedia; or any similar way, or by any other medium even if not known or devised when this policy was promulgated. In essence, if you are using any form of electronic technology to transmit information (including words, sounds or images) to other persons, that usage will be treated as “social media” and covered by this Policy.
Social Media Conduct
All employees are cautioned that the internet is not an anonymous tool. Everything written either from employees’ home or work computers can be traced back to the individual, which has the potential to reflect on [the Company].
Under no circumstances should bullying, harassing, offensive comments or disparaging remarks be made about any employees, contractors, interns, volunteers, customers or clients, or suppliers and business affiliates of [the Company].
No disparaging remarks or opinions are to be made or expressed about [the Company] or its products, services or its business methods.
No disparaging remarks or opinions are to be made or expressed about any party to a litigation in which [the Company] is involved.
The privacy of all employees, contractors, interns, volunteers, customers, suppliers and business affiliates employees and clients of [the Company] should be protected with respect to posting photos or videos on social networking sites. Permission should be sought from all people depicted in any photograph that is connected in any way to [the Company]. Without limiting the breadth of that instruction, this applies to photographs of work functions, conferences, Christmas parties, staff parties or any event sponsored by or promoted by [the Company].
As security can be a concern, no photographs of company premises, either external or internal, should be posted on social media without express approval from [the Company].
[The Company] will leave it to the discretion of individual employees in deciding whether to interact with clients, colleagues and other people connected to [the Company] via social networking sites. However, it is understood that if employees do make those connections they do so on a personal basis and not as a representative of [the Company], and the above restrictions will apply.
Use of social media during business hours
[The Company] does not permit employees or contractors to access or use social media on [the Company] computers or during business hours (even if it is on your personal equipment), unless such usage is part of the employee’s role or function (for example, marketing posting material on marketing events on social media) or you have express approval to do so. If in doubt whether your role is covered by this exception, you should ask before using social media during work hours or on company equipment.
[The Company] supports the use of the internet for completion of day-to-day tasks and acknowledges that whilst employees are not permitted to use social networking sites, [the Company] may utilise social networking sites for the advertisement or development of business.
[The Company] at its sole discretion can monitor online activities/social media usage (both in terms of content and the amount of usage) and reserves the right to block access to any internet site from [the Company] computers and devices.
LinkedIn is also considered to be a social networking site, but it is permissible to use this site as a business networking tool if part of the employee’s designated role.
The Use of Social Media Outside of Work
Employees must also be aware that while they may choose to use these sites outside of the workplace, certain inappropriate behaviour or communications can impact upon the organisation and relationships within the workplace and with [the Company]’s stakeholders. In using these sites employees are required to act in the best interest of [the Company] and not undermine the interests or reputation of [the Company] or other Employees, members, clients, suppliers, consultants or persons associated with [the Company].
In general, employees should not identify themselves as employees of [the Company] in their personal social media accounts (Facebook, etc,) without approval from [the Company].
Section 3 (in particular, clauses 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5 and 3.6) applies to conduct out of hours and on the employee’s own equipment.
[The Company] at its sole discretion can monitor the content of employees’ public social media content. “Public social media content” means any social media content that can be accessed by the public generally, and includes tweets, Facebook wall posts and messages sent to groups via LinkedIn.
An employee of [the Company] shall not publicly post inappropriate content on a social media forum. Inappropriate content includes, but is not limited to, content that:
- bullies, harasses or discriminates against an employee;
- damages the reputation or business interests of [the Company]; and
is otherwise unlawful.
A breach of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, including possible termination of employment.
Where an employee uses social media to harass or bully other employees, [the Company] [Name] Policy will apply. Employees who are found to have engaged in such conduct will face disciplinary action, including possible termination of employment.
Free Social Media Policy Template
This free Australian Social Media Policy template will outline your organisation’s policies on social media use and help prevent your organisation from compliance and liability issues.
By downloading this template, you agree to use it at your own risk and under your own legal advice. Nothing on this site should be considered legal advice.