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The recent slew of unsavoury tweets highlights the importance of communicating your company's social media policy properly

by , 06 June 2014
Findings of the SA Social Media Landscape 2014 research study show there are 5.5 million active Twitter users in South Africa.

While this shows South Africans are becoming more social media savvy, the country has also seen the not so good side of social media.

In recent months, high profile people have gotten into trouble for irresponsible tweets.

This includes former Hawks spokesperson, McIntosh Polela, who made controversial reference to prison rape after kwaito star Molemo Jub Jub Maarohanye was convicted of murder.

Orlando Pirates players got into trouble recently for posting a nude picture on Twitter. And earlier this week, a Democratic Alliance (DA) MP got into hot water for tweeting a picture which critics say likens ANC voters to dogs.

The common thread in all these incidents is that all the companies involved admit they have social media policies in place. So why do employees continue to post unsavoury tweets?

Because companies don't communicate their social media policies well.

Don't take that risk in your company. Use these three steps to communicate your social media policy to your employees.

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Don't let employees embarrass your company with unsavoury tweets! Use these three ways to communicate your social media policy

#1: Consult your employees

Experts at Acas.org recommend you talk with employees so you can determine what should be in the social media policy.

They say this will help ensure it is fair. It'll also help make it relevant to your company. For example, if your employees handle sensitive and confidential information on members of the public, the policy will need to reflect this.

#2: Use social media

A high proportion of employees don't know if their employer has a policy on Internet use, says the site.

Since your employees already use social media, experts at Acas.org say, 'social media channels can be an effective way for an employer to raise awareness of its policy and any changes.'

There's one more effective way to communicate your social media policy.

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#3: Make use of induction training

Experts behind the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service are always telling you about the importance of induction training.

The good news is you can use this training to make it clear from the start what you allow and don't allow when it comes to the use of social media.

Remember to make your employees sign your social media policy. This way, they won't plead ignorance when you bust them for breaching the policy.

We hope these three ways will help you communicate your company's social media policy so you can put an end to reckless tweets by employees.

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