Whether you own a small or large enterprise, you should already have a certain sense about social media. For one, you might see it as a means of getting your name out in the public eye. Meanwhile, you should know that social media posts can actually hurt your business.
Truth be told, the size of your corporation doesn’t matter when it comes to limiting your company’s exposure. For example, a magazine story published earlier this year provides insight into some real disasters that happened as a result of poorly worded Tweets.
In one case, Adidas congratulated runners for surviving the Boston Marathon. The timing of the 2013 message was obviously disturbing. Meanwhile, more than one major company has accidentally used social media to share some form of pornography.
All things considered, political posts can cause business owners tremendous problems. Just because you feel strongly about the present administration and its policies – does not mean you need to share your thoughts with the world.
A broad statement? Yes. The internet is aptly termed the worldwide web. What you or your employees type – can easily result in decreasing your customer base.
Does Your Company Have a Social Media Policy?
Like many states, Pennsylvania is considered an “at will” employment state. This means that barring some exceptions, workers can be terminated without cause. (Generally, collective bargaining agreements protect some employees, as do employment contracts.)
At first glance, you may decide this covers your arrangement with your workers. You are not a union shop – nor are your employees bound by an employment agreement.
However, what happens if you decide to put together an employee handbook that contains a social media policy? Does that constitute an implied contract for employment? The short answer? Possibly.
Truth be told, any type of business agreement should be either drafted or reviewed by experienced corporate legal counsel. If you want to implement a social media policy, make sure you have an attorney look at it.
You don’t have to look far for social media policies. You could take a glance at the one published by the Township of Muhlenberg. It provides an example of how a local government approaches the image portrayed through online exposure.
Meanwhile, your company’s social media should implicitly state guidelines – so that personal and business guidelines are not blurred. You should also charge someone with conducting regular research of the use of your company name throughout the internet – keeping your brand clean and limiting your legal exposure.
Have concerns about the impact of social media on your company? Contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli to see how we can help you. We look forward to speaking with you!
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.