Social Media Policy

Introduction

Employees of Network Xpress, as part of their job, will most likely be accessing social media services and social networking websites at work, either through company IT systems or via their own personal equipment.

This social media policy describes the rules governing use of social media at Network Xpress.

It details how staff must behave when using the company’s social media accounts and explains the rules about using personal media accounts at work and describes what staff may say about the company on their personal accounts. This policy should be read and understood before any social media activity takes place.

Why this policy exists

Social media is an invaluable tool for Network Xpress, particularly for building relationships with current and potential customers, but also for customer retention and seeking feedback.

However, it is vital that employees who use social media within the company do so in a way that enhances the company’s prospects. A misjudged status update can generate complaints or damage the company’s reputation. There are also security and data protection issues to consider.

This policy explains how employees can use social media safely and effectively.

Policy Scope

This social media policy is applicable to all individuals working at all levels, including staff, contractors, and volunteers, at Network Xpress who use social media while working – whether for business or personal reasons.

It is applicable regarding social media; on company premises, while travelling for business or whilst working from home.

Authorised users

Only people who have been authorised by the Managing Director to use the company’s social networking accounts may do so.

Creating social media accounts

New social media accounts in the company’s name must not be created unless approved and authorised by the Managing Director.

Social media sites

  • Social media sites and services include (but are not limited to):
  • Popular social networks like Twitter and Facebook
  • Online review websites like Reevoo and Trustpiliot
  • Sharing and discussion sites like Delicious and Reddit
  • Photographic social networks like Flickr and Instagram
  • Question and answer social networks like Quora and Yahoo Answers
  • Professional social networks like LinkedIn and Sunzu

    Purpose of company social media accounts

Network Xpress utilises social media for a range of different purposes.

In general, employees should only post updates, messages or otherwise use these accounts when that use is clearly in line with the company’s overall objectives.

Employees may use company social media accounts to:

  • Respond to customer enquiries and requests for help
  • Share blog posts, articles and other content created by the company
  • Share insightful articles, videos, and other content relevant to the business, but created by others
  • Provide fans or followers with an insight into what goes on at the company
  • Promote marketing campaigns and special offers
  • Support new product launches and other initiatives

Social media is a powerful tool but one that also evolves constantly. Employees are encouraged to think outside of the box and utilise social media for the purposes of promoting Network Xpress.

Responsibility for implementation of the policy

All staff at Network Xpress that operates a company social media account or who use their personal social media accounts at work has responsibility for implementing this policy.

However, the following individuals have key responsibilities:

  • The Managing Director is ultimately responsible for ensuring that Network Xpress uses social media safely, appropriately and in line with the company’s objectives.
  • The Marketing Consultant is responsible for working with the Managing Director to roll out marketing ideas and campaigns though our social media channels.
  • The Marketing Consultant is responsible for ensuring requests for assistance and support made via social media are followed up.

Using work-related social media

Only employees with authorisation are permitted to post material on a social media website in the company’s name and behalf. Anyone breaching this restriction will face appropriate disciplinary procedure.
Before using work-related social media, all employees must:

  • Have read and understood this policy; and
  • Have sought and gained prior written approval to do so from the Managing Director.

Personal use of social media

Personal use of social media in the workplace is allowed, subject to certain conditions, as detailed below. It must not be abused or overused and the company reserves the right to withdraw permission at any time

  • Use must be absolutely minimal and take place outside working hours, e.g. breaks, lunchtime
  • Use must not interfere with business work
  • Use must comply with our policies
  • Employees should ensure their social media account does not represent Network Xpress.
  • Staff may wish to include a disclaimer in social media profiles.

You are personally responsible for what you communicate on social media sites outside the workplace so be mindful of what you post even in your own personal capacity.

General social media principles

The power of social media

Network Xpress recognises that social media is a powerful platform for marketing, for connecting with customers and building up its brand and reputation online. Social media is also a brilliant way to make connections, share ideas and shape discussions.

The company therefore encourages employees to use social media to support the company’s goals and objectives.

The rules in this section apply to

  • Any employee using company social media accounts
  • Employees using personal social media accounts during company time

Basic principles

When using social media, employees should therefore follow these basic principles to ensure their usage is in line with company policy.

  • Know the social network you are posting on: Employees should know the social network they will be contributing to before posting. It is important to abide by any terms and conditions the network may have specified.
  • If unsure, don’t post it: Due to the far-reaching audience, social media can branch out to, staff should be cautious with what they post. If unsure whether content is suitable or appropriate, seek advice before posting!
  • Be thoughtful and polite: The highest level of courtesy should be adopted always. Remember manners and exhibit restraint even when faced with the most difficult of situations.
  • Look out for security threats: Be on guard for any social engineering or phishing attempts. Social networks are used to distribute spam and malware and therefore caution should be used always.
  • Keep personal use reasonable: Whilst social media recognises employees who are active on social media can be valuable, personal use should abide by the rules set out in article 6 above.
  • Don’t make promises without checking: Remember that social media channels are public and therefore employees should not make any commitments or promises on behalf of Sussex Pages without checking that the promise is deliverable. Direct any enquiries to the Managing Director.
  • Handle complex queries via other channels: Social media are a great initial point of contact to start a conversation, but if it is looking to be turning into a complex enquiry or issue then the matter should be handled via another communication channel, whether that be email or telephone.
  • Don’t escalate things: A contentious post from a customer may evoke a quick, fiery response that in the long term creates more problems than it solves. Employees should always take their time to respond to such a situation and exhibit the courtesy outlined above.

Safe, responsible social media use

Users must not:

  • Create or transmit material that might be defamatory or incur liability for the company
  • Post any inappropriate content; including but not limited to, pornography, racial or religious slurs, gender-specific comments, criminal or terrorist behaviour, or materials relating to cults or illegal drugs. This definition of inappropriate content or material also covers any text, images or other media that could be reasonably offend someone on the basis of race, age, sec, religious or political beliefs, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law.
  • Use social media for any illegal or criminal activities
  • Send offensive or harassing material to others via social media.
  • Broadcast unsolicited views on social, political, religious, or other non-business-related matters
  • Send or post messages or materials that could damage Sussex Page Ltd image or reputation.
  • Interact with Sussex Pages’ competitors in any ways which could be interpreted as being offensive, disrespectful, or rude.
  • Discuss colleagues, competitors, customers, or suppliers without their approval.
  • Post, upload, forward or link to spam, junk email or chain emails and messages.

 Monitoring use of social media

Staff should be aware that any use of social media websites (whether accessed for work purposes) may be monitored and, where breaches of this policy are found, action may be taken.
Network Xpress reserves the right to update this social media policy at any point and implement any restrictions if seen as necessary.

Copyright

Network Xpress respects and operates within copyright laws. Users may not use social media to:

  • Publish or share any copyrighted software, media or materials owned by third parties, unless permitted by that third party.
  • Share links to illegal copies of music, films, games, or other software.

Security and data protection

Employees of Network Xpress should be aware of the security and data protection issues that can arise from using social networks

Maintain confidentiality

Users must not:

  • Share or link to any content or information owned by the company that could be considered confidential or commercially sensitive.
  • Share or link to any content or information owned by another company or person that could be considered confidential or commercially sensitive.
  • Share or link to data in any way that could breach the company’s data protection policy

Protect social accounts

  • Company social media accounts should be protected by strong passwords that are:
  • Updated regularly; and Shared only with authorised users
  • Employees should use two-factor authentication wherever possible.

Avoid scams

  • Staff should be cautious for phishing attempts and never reveal sensitive details through social media channels.
  • Employees should avoid clicking links in posts, updates and direct messages that look suspicious.

Policy review and update

The Editorial Manager has overall responsibility for the review and update of this policy at the beginning of each year or more regularly as required.

Agreement

All company employees, contractors or temporary staff are required to sign this agreement confirming their understanding and acceptance of this policy.

Key Details

Policy prepared by

Natasha Kingdon (Editorial Manager)

Approved by management on

Sonny Cutting (Managing Director)

Policy became operational on

19th August 2017

Next review date

19th August 2018

A special thank you to tech donut for allowing us to use this templated Social Media Policy which we have customised to fit with our brand.

Registered Office
Sussex Pages Ltd / Net XP
7 Wilton Close, Partridge Green
West Sussex RH13 8RX

Company Reg: 08833077
VAT No: 300 2491 60
t: 01273 833 222