Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here

Should Your Business Have a Social Media Policy?

Yes, it is generally advisable for businesses to have a social media policy for legal purposes. A social media policy is a set of guidelines and rules that govern how employees and representatives of the company should use social media in the context of their work.

Social Media Policy Protects Company Reputation

  • Protecting Confidential Information: A social media policy can outline the importance of not sharing confidential or sensitive company information on social media platforms. This helps protect trade secrets and other proprietary information from being inadvertently or intentionally disclosed.
  • Preventing Defamation and Libel: Employees may use social media to express personal opinions that could harm the company’s reputation. A social media policy can clarify what is acceptable in terms of discussing the company, its products, and its competitors, reducing the risk of defamation and libel claims.
  • Compliance with Regulations: Many industries are subject to regulations regarding the use of social media. For example, financial institutions have specific rules about what employees can say on social media. A social media policy can ensure that employees are aware of and adhere to these regulations.
  • Intellectual Property Protection: Businesses can use social media policies to remind employees about the importance of respecting copyrights and trademarks when posting content online.

Social Media Policy Protects Employees

Employee Guidelines: Social media policies can provide guidance on how employees should represent the company on social media, including brand messaging and professional conduct. This helps maintain consistency in the company’s online presence.

Crisis Management: The policy can outline procedures for handling social media crises, such as negative comments, online attacks, or PR crises, to ensure a coordinated and effective response.

Termination and Disciplinary Actions: It can clearly state the consequences of violating the policy, which may include disciplinary actions, up to and including termination of employment. A Blog Post from eChatter, a division of of Ann Michaels & Associates, explains how an employee can get terminated for a social media post. In fact, recently this has been in the news a lot.

Starbucks Sues Union After Solidarity With Palestine Tweet.

Monitoring social media for brand mentions has become a necessity rather than a “nice to have”. Companies as large as Starbucks have this monitoring in place, but it isn’t a bad idea for businesses of all sizes to incorporate a deep web scan on their business and key stakeholders on a regular basis.

Starbucks Workers United posted a social media post showing support of Palestine. The post included an image of a bulldozer breaking through the fence encircling Gaza. The post shown below has since been deleted.

“Starbucks executive VP and chief partner officer Sara Kelly released a statement affirming that stance on Tuesday, writing that the union’s post expressing support for Palestine in that context has had a negative impact on the company and its workers.”

“The ongoing confusion from this misinformation has sadly led directly to incidents where angry, hurt customers are confronting partners in our stores and sending graphic and violent images to partners in our Customer Contact Center (CCC),” she explained. 

Kelly’s statement from Wednesday noted the cease-and-desist letter requesting that Workers United “immediately stop using our company name, logo and intellectual property” and “issue an immediate correction” — a request she said the union rejected on Tuesday. “As a result, Starbucks will file litigation against the union in federal court, and we intend to pursue all legal options in defense of our partners and our company,” Kelly wrote. (Fox News)

Protect Your Company

Having a well-drafted social media policy can help protect the company’s interests, maintain a positive online reputation, and reduce the risk of legal issues. However, it’s important to consult with legal counsel to ensure that the policy is compliant with applicable laws and regulations, as these can vary by jurisdiction and industry. Additionally, it’s crucial to educate employees about the policy and provide training on its implementation to promote understanding and compliance.


Social Media Violations in the Workplace

The privacy of your employees is important and employers have to be very careful. This includes social media accounts. Most employers know that they should not ask for login information of an employee. But what exactly does the law state regarding social media employee checks? It depends, in part, on the privacy laws of your state. It also depends on whether you’re conducting an inquiry on an existing employee or a new employee.

Social Media Background Checks for Pre-Employment

Hiring new employees? You can run a social media background check but you must get permission from the prospect before you do so. This is mandatory per FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). Some states also require specific disclosures as well. An FCRA compliant third party company will review and flag social media content in four business related categories:

  • Racist, Sexist, or Discriminatory Behavior
  • Sexually Explicit Material
  • Threats or Acts of Violence
  • Potentially Illegal Activity

Social Media Privacy Laws in Employment: 50-State Survey

It is important to understand the privacy laws when it pertains to social media by state as well. There is no federal law preventing employers from asking for employees’ or applicants’ social media usernames and passwords, or requiring employees or applicants to share any social media information that is not publicly available. However, a little over half of the states have enacted laws to protect employees and applicants in this situation. (

Workplace Harassment and Social Media

Most employers don’t even realize that they may be liable for workplace harassment online. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is a federal law that was enacted in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers and to encourage collective bargaining. Enforced by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the law protects the rights of employees to act together to address work conditions, whether or not they are part of a union. The protection covers work-related conversations conducted on social media.

An example of this is any publicly available post in social media in which a co-worker is being sexually harassed or placing derogatory statements away from the workplace. It is tough to keep a handle on it. One of the first lines of defense is to develop a workplace social media policy. Make sure all employees are aware of what it states.

Examples of social media violations in the workplace

Social media violations in the workplace can encompass a wide range of behaviors that are inappropriate, unprofessional, or potentially harmful to the work environment. Here are some examples:

Sharing Confidential Information: Posting sensitive company information, trade secrets, financial data, or proprietary information on social media platforms without authorization.

Harassment and Bullying: Using social media to target, harass, or bully colleagues, supervisors, or other individuals within or outside the organization.

Discriminatory Remarks: Making discriminatory comments, including those related to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or other protected characteristics, which can create a hostile work environment.

Defamation and Libel: Making false or damaging statements about the company, coworkers, or management that could harm their reputation or result in legal consequences.

Negative Publicity: Sharing negative opinions, complaints, or criticism about the company, products, or services, which could potentially harm the company’s image or business relationships.

Social Media Deep Web Scan

There may be times when you need to conduct some research into an employee. Perhaps their behavior at work is sending up some red flags, or you see a difference in their attitude towards fellow employees.

This is the time HR should get involved and perhaps take a closer look at what is publicly available online. At eChatter, a division of Ann Michaels & Associates, we offer this service to our clients. We work with Corporations, Private Investigators and Attorneys across the US.

We offer two types of scans, but for this purpose we would recommend a deep web scan. This is your best bet, especially when dealing with potential theft of services or goods for reselling purposes.

Contact us for more information.


Customer Service VS. Customer Experience

When you are in the business of evaluating customer services levels for your clients, you tend to notice the details. Walk into an ice cream store with your kids or grandkids and you are automatically in tune with the “vibe” of the store. Is there music playing? How easy/hard is it to figure out the menu options? Were you greeted when you walked in the door? How clean was the store? Were you thanked for business? All of these things play either a subconscious or conscious role in your experience.

I remember when an ice cream store chain stopped their mystery shopping service in lieu of social media reviews. Big mistake for a variety of reasons, but the lure of getting “free” customer reviews was enough for them to give it a try. They are not alone. There is actually a term for this. The “Review Economy”has created a dent in customer research. In fact many companies use it in lieu of customer satisfaction surveys.

A year later, I went in to one of the locations as a customer with my family. I witnessed a noticeable difference right away. I was never greeted. I placed my order after waiting in line and there was no upsell or cross sell at the register. Not a huge issue for an ice cream shop, right? When we found a place to sit however, I noticed how the floor beneath the table was very dirty and dusty. The table itself needed to be cleaned better from the previous guest. All things that as a major ice cream brand, it is hard to recover from. I will never go back to the store again after that visit. I will not share my findings in social media. I am the silent, unhappy customer.

Customer Service & Customer Experience: What’s the difference?

Customer service and customer experience are related but distinct concepts. Customer service refers to the support and assistance provided by a company to its customers before, during, and after a purchase. It includes the various ways in which a company interacts with its customers, such as answering questions, providing technical support, handling complaints, and resolving issues.

Customer experience, on the other hand, encompasses the entire customer journey, including all of the interactions and touchpoints a customer has with a company, from initial awareness and consideration, to purchase and post-purchase. It’s about creating a positive and seamless experience for customers across all channels and touchpoints, and ensuring that they feel valued, understood, and appreciated.

Customer Service is Part of the Customer Experience

While customer service is a critical component of the overall customer experience, it’s just one part of it. A company that provides excellent customer service can still fall short in terms of creating a positive and memorable customer experience. To truly excel in customer experience, companies need to focus on creating a customer-centric culture, understanding and anticipating customer needs, and delivering consistent and personalized experiences across all channels and touchpoints.

Forbes recently published a great article titled, “No Help is Better than Bad Help: Focusing on the Customer Experience.” They offered some great practical tips on how to provide a better customer experience. The one tip that stood out to me was to understand your customers.

Understand Your Customers

“Having a thorough understanding of the type of customers who walk through your door also aids in creating a positive customer experience. Know them, and figure out how to tailor their experiences to their needs. Being in tune with the customer goes a long way in creating an experience worth remembering.”

This for me sums up in part why a business still needs mystery shopping and customer satisfaction surveys. You can’t get this type of understanding from a social media review unless you can unmask the author behind the post. I am in favor of online reviews, but you need all of it to really understand how to develop, train and execute a good customer experience process.