Social Networking Policies a Must for Companies

Reports suggest that many companies do not have a formal policy regarding the use of social networking, and could be opening a can of worms for themselves by this oversight.

Experts have long claimed that writing and implementing a strict social media policy should be a priority for every organisation. Despite this advice, some 76 per cent of businesses still have no formal policy in place, Information Week has revealed.

Too much at stake

The proliferation of social networking could soon see companies who fail to protect themselves “hit with lawsuits” or face issues concerning intellectual property. Furthermore, they could damage their reputation, depending on what employees post on sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Social Networking PoliciesAccording to IT security specialist, Raj Mehta: “In a best-case scenario, social networking can help businesses to better connect to customers. If used incorrectly, social networking can have the affect of alienating customers or damaging a brand’s value.

“Companies cannot ignore the potential of social networking, yet they cannot afford to turn a blind eye towards its usage.”

Companies not sure what to include

However it may be that companies just aren’t sure what to include in these policies, Mehta added. According to fellow expert, Jonathan Wyatt, there a few things they should cover.

He told Computerweekly.com that policies should “include guidelines on sharing photographs from corporate events.” Furthermore, they should lay down strict rules on what blog content should entail.

Wyatt’s advice was echoed by Mehta, who added that other acceptable usage policies – like those relating to HR and IT – should be updated in line with the social networking policy. This will ensure consistency and that everything is up to date.