Developing Social Media Policies at a Small Firm

June 12, 2013
Image Supervisors and Employees Supervisors and Employees should not interact on social networking sites in order to avoid conflicts of interests. Though it may seem harmless, there are potential problems associated with a supervisor “friending” or “following” a lower-level employee such as: perceived favoritism, invasion of privacy, and inappropriate communication (whether intentional or unintentional). Social networking between supervisors and employees can also cause an employee’s work life to spill over into their personal life. Overall Work/Life balance can be better preserved if employees do not interact with their superiors through social networking sites. Prohibit the Use of Company Information (Name and Logo) Anything with your firm’s name or logo can be perceived as a representation of the opinions of the entire firm. No matter if it is a senior partner or summer associate conveying the message, the use of company information should be restricted unless explicitly permitted for use. These provisions are especially important for social media sites. For example, say an employee shares a blog post bashing your company. Even though they did not create the post, they still used company information and shared it on their page, which would be a violation of policy. It is important to account for any use of company information on social networking sites in order to prevent similar things from happening to your firm. Policies Tailored to Your Firm Your firm’s Social Media policy should be tailored towards the size and culture of your firm. In a firm with mostly young employees, for example, the policy may be focused on in-office usage and sharing company information. For any CPA firm, the most sensitive information to account for is client information. The policy for your firm should include straightforward rules and regulations that prohibit any employee from releasing any client information on their individual social networking accounts as well as the firm’s social networking sites. Along with your salaried employees, temporary help hired in peak seasons should be educated on and subject to the same rules. A more comprehensive guide to developing your firm’s Social Media Policy can be found on our website here: Protexure Social Media Policy Development All in all, the policies should be as clear as possible, as well as the ramifications associated with the violation of these policies. Once the policy is formulated, it should be communicated to all existing employees, and as importantly, to all new hires. We wish you luck in your Social Media endeavors! If you are a small CPA firm, visit our website or call us at (888) 803-9898 for a quick, free quote on Liability Insurance for your firm. Also, be sure to visit us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, and of course keep up to date with our WordPress Blog!

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