Employers and Social Media: covering your behind

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Employers and Social Media: covering your behind

One rogue social media post can have embarrassing, nay, detrimental consequences.

The speed with which information travels can be both a blessing and a curse. When you work in public relations or marketing and launch a campaign, you pray that it’ll catch on fast. On the flip side, during a crisis you’d rather the internet have a kill switch. Who else can relate to the heart-stopping panic that ensues when a branded google alert hits your inbox?

This is the age we’re living in.

High-visibility, hyper-sharing and no shortage of cameras ready to capture the next viral moment. Today privacy comes at a premium. Whether you’re a small business or a highly visible public figure, brand or celebrity, social media magnifies the necessity of confidentiality agreements and other protective measures.

Consider the following scenarios:

1) Imagine one of your customer service representatives posts a rant to Facebook detailing an exchange with one of your clients. In the midst of the rant, he shares personal identifying information about the client. This breach can have financial and legal consequences for your organization.

2) Imagine if you have a personal assistant who does everything for you from picking up your dry-cleaning to filing emails and taking notes during calls. Your PA knows many intimate details about your personal and professional life (e.g.: contracts being negotiated, relationship issues, guilty pleasures, infighting etc.) They hold the key to private information; information if leaked could have an impact on you.

3) Imagine you get a Google Alert because a former employee was busy on Instagram sharing trade secret information about the business, including photos and videos taken inside the walls of the organization during key meetings, unbeknownst to other employees.

We live in a world where the immediate reaction is to post every single thing we’re doing whether – it’s a latte at the trendy new coffee spot or a drive in the backseat of a limo with our boss who happens to be a well-known celebrity. The blurring of lines between personal and professional has made it critical that employers adapt policies and contracts to include social media.

Our reputations are our bread and butter, so we must protect it.

How can you protect yourself and your organization?

  • Put appropriate confidentiality agreements in place
  • Ensure that there is clarity surrounding social media usage.
  • Review contract and policies with employees thoroughly.
  • Social media training (even if it just covers the basics.)

Related Blogs:
Social media doesn’t happen in a vacuum (think, before you think, before you post!)
How to write a social media guideline that your employees will understand
Social Media Training For Employees
Human Resources: addressing negative social media posts online
How To Use Social Media During Real Crisis Situations
Social Media, Freedom of Speech and Employment

Not sure where to start? Get in touch! 🙂


Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay is a Marketing Strategist, Writer + Speaker known for her no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything. Using data insights, she helps organizations market more effectively to get results that matter. She's also a high-scoring instructor at Mount Royal University, where she teaches Social Media Analytics and Google Analytics + Marketing Measurement. She holds certifications from Google, as well as Facebook and is currently working toward a specialization in Marketing Analytics and a certificate in Data Science from IBM. When she’s not busy juggling kids, volunteering + work, she’s busy planning her retirement to Cape Breton.