Click on the link for an example of a social media policy you can adapt; or you can adapt this Model Policy, which comes from the electronic retail giant, Best Buy:
Be smart. Be respectful. Be human.
Guidelines for functioning in an electronic world are the same as the values, ethics and confidentiality policies employees are expected to live every day, whether you’re Twittering, talking with customers or chatting over the neighbor’s fence.
|What you should do:||What you should never disclose:|
|Disclose your affiliation: If you talk about work related matters that are within your area of job responsibility you must disclose your affiliation with Best Buy.||The numbers: Non-public financial or operational information. This includes strategies, forecasts and most anything with a dollar-figure attached to it. If it’s not already public information, it’s not your job to make it so.|
|State that it’s YOUR opinion: When commenting on the business. Unless authorized to speak on behalf of Best Buy, you must state that the views expressed are your own. Hourly employees should not speak on behalf of Best Buy when they are off the clock.||Promotions: Internal communication regarding drive times, promotional activities or inventory allocations. Including: advance ads, drive time playbooks, holiday strategies and Retail Insider editions.|
|Protect yourself: Be careful about what personal information you share online.||Personal information: Never share personal information regarding other employees or customers. See the Customer Information Policies for more information.|
|Act responsibly and ethically: When participating in online communities, do not misrepresent yourself. If you are not a vice president, don’t say you are.||Legal information: Anything to do with a legal issue, legal case, or attorneys.|
|Honor our differences: Live the values. Best Buy will not tolerate discrimination (including age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability, or marital status or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state, or local laws, regulations or ordinances).||Anything that belongs to someone else: Let them post their own stuff; you stick to posting your own creations. This includes illegal music sharing, copyrighted publications, and all logos or other images that are trademarked by Best Buy.|
|Offers and Contests: Follow the normal legal review process. If you are in the store, offers must be approved through the retail marketing toolkit.||Confidential information: Do not publish, post, or release information that is considered confidential or top secret.
Basically, if you find yourself wondering if you can talk about something you learned at work — don’t. Follow Best Buy’s policies and live the company’s values and philosophies. They’re there for a reason.
Just in case you are forgetful or ignore the guidelines above, here’s what could happen. You could:
- Get fired (and it’s embarrassing to lose your job for something that’s so easily avoided)
- Get Best Buy in legal trouble with customers or investors
- Cost us the ability to get and keep customers