Have a social media policy in place before your employees start sharing

Right now your small business may be so small that you are the only employee.  You have the good sense to use your company’s name responsibly and protect its image.  You would not disparage your business online or make off-color jokes.  But what about when you start to grow?

The new part-timer you hire to do some bookkeeping, does she know that her Facebook posts might show up in a search of your business name if she mentions it?  Did your teenage intern’s Twitter followers get updated about private customer information?

Idle gossip or phone conversations never were searchable by your potential customers and competitors, but with modern search engines everything posted on the Internet can pop-up in search results.  The consequence could be embarassing at the least or in a worse-case scenario lead to legal liability for defamation.

Take the time to formulate your business’ social media policy.  Let your employees know your expectations and the consequences for violating that policy.  What may have seemed like idle chatter of a harmless nature shouldn’t come as a surprise with real-world negative results.