Why You Should Have a Social Network Company Policy

Why You Should Have a Social Network Company Policy

Raise your hand if you have either a Facebook profile, a Twitter handle, a LinkedIn account or if you just got an invitaion on Google Plus, and you accessed any of them, at least once, from work.

Does your company have a company policy regarding social networking? It seems only 55% percent of the companies do, according to a survey by the International Labor & Employment Group at Proskauer Rose.

I always wondered how Social Networks are impacting our life, and this SocialNetConomy blog investigates on this topic. Surely, in my opinion, social networks have a huge impact on business. They of course have both a positive impact (when we think about companies whose visibility and marketing efforts on social networks made the companies earn good profits, saving jobs and helping the economy), and a negative impact (check my post on the correlation of Facebook visits growth and GDP decline in the US in the past 5 years).

According to Proskauer, survey data show more than three-quarters of responders use social networking for business, and some 40% of the businesses in the survey have had to deal with employees misusing social networks.

The figure below shows that 25% of companies have a strict social network policy, with filters preventing all employees to access social networks. Some 26.7% of companies allow access to select employees.

Source: Proskauer Survey 2011

Source: Proskauer survey 2011

Interesting enough, survey findings show that out of the 55% of the interviewed companies with a social network company policy in place, some 16.5% say their policy is for working hours only. Virtually, this means employees can lament about their company – hence negatively impact their company brand- if they do it when they are not working.


Why shall you care about having a social media policy?

Social networks, like it or not, affect brand reputation. In my opinion, having a social media policy in place should be one of the most important pages of the employee handbook of every company. Not only: a social media policy should be on the use of social media regardless of where it’s used and if employees have access to it or not from work.

The more a company brand is visible, the more that company should have a social media presence and a social network policy. Morgan Stanley as first large financial firm got his advisers use social networks (with a policy in place).

More and more surveys on social networks and business reveal that not all companies have understood the importance – also in terms of brand reputation and seniority of those in charge of social media. In a recent post I highlighted only half of the major websites have social media buttons on their home.

We are surely at the beginning of the adoption curve of social media, but, as I wrote a long ago, in times of global economic uncertainty, understanding and anticipating trends is critical for maintaining your competitive advantage.

Who should be in charge of your social media policy?

Surely it’s a teamwork between your marketing department, your HR and your legal department (if you have one), with some little work from your IT department.

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