This social media policy presents and explains the rules governing social media use at Durham Technologies, including those applying to the marketing department and employees in general. It follows that this policy describes how designated staff members must use the company’s social media accounts. It also explains the rules surrounding personal social media use during work hours and what employees may say about Durham Technologies and company-related issues on their personal accounts.
This social media policy exists to ensure employees, regardless of their positions within Durham Technologies, use their social accounts in a safe and effective manner. Although social media can benefit the company especially in terms of marketing, relationship building and prospect communication, poorly-judged or timed activity can damage the company’s reputation.
Durham Technologies’ social media policy pertains to all staff members, as well as contractors and volunteers, who log onto social media platforms during work hours or to complete work-related activities outside of standard times. Therefore, it applies to social media activity that relies on company Internet, occurs on company premises, happens while travelling and happens while working from home.For the purposes of this policy, social media may refer to popular social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, photo-sharing websites such as Pinterest and Instagram, professional social networks such as LinkedIn, discussion forums such as the Durham Technologies Client Portal, question and answer-based networks such as Quora and Yahoo Answers and review systems such as Yelp and Google Reviews
Whether Durham Technologies employees are posting from company or personal accounts, we encourage them to follow basic best practice rules. Adhere to these standards to avoid common social media mistakes:
• Understand the social network. Different social media platforms have different purposes. For example, it’s common to see more personal status updates on Facebook than LinkedIn. Before posting, become familiar with the network by reading FAQs and quickly researching what is and is not acceptable.
• Correct your own mistakes. When you make a factual error in a post, create an update to correct it. Deleting or editing the original post should come at your own discretion, depending on the situation.
• Beware potential security threats. Hackers can use social networks to distribute spam and malware. They can also launch phishing attempts. You should report suspicious activity, including questionable comments and friend requests.
• Be careful when sharing information about yourself or others. Hackers can also use personal information to their advantage.
• Don’t escalate issues. Responding to other social media users, especially concerning a contentious subject, can result in a heated argument. To avoid such arguments, it may be best to avoid commenting if you feel you may spark conflict.
• Think before posting. This is the golden social media rule. Not only should you check grammar and spelling, but ensure there won’t be any negative effects of posting a status update. These include creating arguments and divulging sensitive information.
Durham Technologies social media accounts must only be used and created by authorized individuals for the purpose of meeting defined company goals.
Goals and Purposes of Company Social Media Accounts
As the social media landscape quickly changes and evolves, we encourage employees to think about new ways to use company accounts. However, account activity should not stray from the company’s goals of engaging consumers and promoting products. Doing so builds stronger relationships with customers and prospects while driving traffic to other digital properties.
Employees can typically meet these goals by:
• Distributing original content pieces such as blog posts, infographics and product photos
• Sharing third-party content pieces relevant to company target audiences
• Promoting special offers, including contests and discount events
• Announcing and previewing new products and initiatives
• Interacting with consumers, including responding to customer and prospect questions
• Monitoring the social web for brand mentions and responding accordingly
Only approved users may access Durham Technologies social media accounts to perform the aforementioned tasks. The Relations Manager will grant authorization. He or she will do so when an employee’s role involves creating and executing social media strategies, or researching new and existing target audiences. The company only approves certain employees to ensure its social media voice and approach stay consistent, aligning with marketing and customer service objectives.
Creating Social Media Accounts Under the Company’s Name
As Durham Technologies must explore the advantages and disadvantages of expanding its social media presence into new networks, the Relations Manager must approve the creation of company social media accounts. If employees see the opportunity to create a social media account that supports company goals, they should present their ideas to the Relations Manager.
As personal social media use can yield clear professional benefits, such as expanding industry knowledge and connections, Durham Technologies understands it is advantageous for employees to use personal accounts. Below are acceptable uses for accessing personal social media accounts during work hours:
• Competitor research
• Monitoring company accounts
• Connecting and interacting with users who may benefit professional development
• Emergency purposes, such as contacting friends and family members who cannot be reached otherwise
Below are non-acceptable uses for accessing personal social media accounts during work hours:
• Browsing friend photos and accounts
• Adding contacts to your networks for non-professional reasons
• Participating in conversations not pertaining to work-related topics
Note that during breaks and lunches, employees may use their personal social media accounts freely. However, activity should not conflict with the following section.
Regardless of whether the social media account is personal or under company name, employees should not:
• Conduct illegal or criminal activities
• Distribute material that could be interpreted as libelous or defamatory
• Share updates, images and messages that may tarnish the company’s public image
• Discuss colleagues, customers and suppliers without their expressed consent
• Harass others by sending them offensive content and messages
• Communicate with company competitors in disrespectful fashions
• Distribute spam and chain messages
Employees who violate this social media policy could face disciplinary action. Depending on the nature and severity of the violation, this could include termination of employment. Durham Technologies reserves the right to monitor how social networks are used and accessed through company Internet resources. These include, but are not limited to, computers and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones that are provided for business use. Moreover, the company maintains official records that contain certain data related to social media activity. These include, but are not limited to, messages sent and received through the company’s computer systems. When appropriate, Durham Technologies may involve law enforcement officials and agencies. In doing so, the company may be compelled to share stored data. Durham Technologies reserves the sole right to review, edit and/or delete any social media comments it deems as inappropriate.
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