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10 Tips for Social Media Policies

The reach and accessibility of social media has exploded in recent years. What was once a platform to be used for individuals to connect on a personal level is now being utilized by big corporations and small businesses alike to advertise and connect with their consumers. While the ease and accessibility of social media platforms is beneficial to both business and consumer, many small businesses do not have policies in place for their business’s social media profiles or for employees who may associate themselves with the business online.
Lardiere McNair recommends that business owners consider creating a social media policy to ensure that the use of social media serves its purpose in strengthen the business connections and community perception, rather than the opposite. Below are ten suggestions of policies to consider implementing within your business:
1. Abide by the specific social network’s terms of use. Each platform has its own terms of use, so carefully review each platforms terms so you can be aware of what you’ve agreed to.
2. Instruct employees to clearly brand their social media posts as their own. If your business chooses to permit employees to associate themselves online with your company, require that the employees clearly brand their online posts as personal and clearly their own to avoid any liability the employee’s content might create.
3. Promote healthy and honest discussions with your consumers. Social media posts and interactions with consumers should be helpful and respectful.
4. Avoid discussing topics where emotions can run high…
5. …or be fully prepared for all the outcomes of a hot-topic post. Create a “crisis plan” for responding to conflict of any kind on your business’ social media.
6. Quickly correct mistakes. With any mistake, from a small typo to a reputation-damaging post, ensure your business has a plan in place to quickly address any mistakes that may occur.
7. Limit who can speak for your company on social media. Designate a team or individual who will be responsible for generating social media content for your business. It is a good idea to have different individuals review the content and provide feedback before it is posted.
8. Consider potential legal risks. Legal risks include crediting proper sources to preventing disclosure of confidential information.
9. Secure company social media accounts and passwords. Keep passwords to social media accounts safely guarded by using a password protected document.
10. Keep the posts business related. Avoid creating posts with too personal a tone for your business’ social media accounts unless it in some way is related to your business.
Lardiere McNair is devoted to staying current on all the issues and changes that business owners may face. If you have questions about how Lardiere McNair can help your small business, call us at 614.534.1355 to set up your free consultation.

Victoria Smith is a Law Clerk at Lardiere McNair, LLC. To read more about our firm, please visit www.lmcounsel.com.
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