Social Media Policies

November 26, 2018

Using social media to express opinions, gather information, and promote business is a normal part of our daily lives. When used properly, this online forum can be one of the most compelling and successful means of communicating. However, when used to convey inappropriate, harmful, or unacceptable messages, there is an increased risk and negative impact to employers. As a result, it is necessary for employers to have appropriate policies in place.

Employees represent your company even when they are not at work, including their social media activity. It is critical that organizations formally establish and communicate their expectations for acceptable online behaviour. Employers that operate across provinces or internationally should be especially clear when it comes to what may be legal or acceptable in one location compared to another.

A comprehensive policy helps organizations and employees avoid embarrassing situations or legal issues, and promotes a positive company brand. Your social media policy should provide guidance on what employees are allowed to say about their workplace, co-workers, and clients. Other situations to address include posting comments or images that have the potential to defame the organization, breach employment contracts, or disclose proprietary information.

BDO's HR Advisory team provides guidelines and advice on how to create a social media policy that meets your company's needs while maintaining compliance with relevant legislation. Our goal is to help you reduce risk and protect your organization's reputation.

If you have any questions about preparing or revising a social media policy, or would like to discuss any other human resources concerns, please contact your local BDO office.

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