724-841-5565 neva@nstotlerlaw.com

Social Media: How To Protect Your Company And Protect Employee Speech

Neva Stotler

Social media is deeply ingrained in our business and personal culture, from sourcing social media for job applicants to create a cost-effective method of engagement. In the public sector, like school districts, law enforcement agencies, cities, there may be challenges to consider for social media compliance. Creating an internal/external social media policy could protect your business, employees, and prevent potential PR and legal issues.

At N. Stotler Law, our focus is to ensure companies continue to succeed by handling the complexities of employment and labor practices. As social media continues to play a large part in the day-to-day activities of your business and employees, the policies of your company should reflect as much. If poorly designed or outdated, a business could experience productivity losses and increased litigation risks. Schedule a consultation with N. Stotler Law today and speak with a Pittsburgh employment law attorney.

How Industries Are Affected by Social Media?

The growth of social media has redefined how to engage with citizens, including local audiences and consumers.

To illustrate how social media significantly impacts industries;

  • 3.5 billion people use social media or 48% of the population
  • 82.3% of businesses find Facebook to be the most valuable platform
  • 73% of marketers as effective
  • 54% of people rely on social media to research products
  • 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience on social media are likely to recommend the company
  • 91% of social media users access the platforms via their mobile devices

Why Internal and External Policies Are Necessary?

According to a recent study, The State of Social Media in the Public Sector 2021, over “100+ lawsuits and claims filed against local government public agencies and their employees over social media moderation issues since January 2019.” Social media compliance is vital as it creates a process by which all social accounts adhere to company policies, procedures, and the laws and regulations of the industry.

The benefits of social media compliance include;

  • Strengthened brand reputation
  • Improved consumer trust
  • Social media risk management practices that protect consumers
  • Decreased regulatory citations and fines

Unfortunately, 26.1% of agencies and districts do not have an internal or external social media policy.

Why do companies need internal policies?

In the public sector, 75% of social media is contributed by multiple people in the organization. By creating social media policies, contributors within the company will stay within the guidelines set forth. Social media policies can regulate how employees manage their social media in a way that keeps it separate from the company, protecting reputations as well as employees’ speech.

External policies

External policies govern how the company handles citizens posting on their social media pages. By creating social media external policies, a company can protect its pages from inappropriate postings, safeguard First Amendment rights, and stay within public records law compliance.

Everything posted on social media is subject to public records. Deleting contributions from citizens may leave a company open to legal reparations. Having external social media policies can help mitigate any damaging consequences for deleting a post.

Call N. Stotler Law Today

Ideally, a company can balance the benefits of social media with compliance from employees through internal and external guidelines and policies. A Pittsburg employee attorney can create social media policies for your company that ensure its efficiency and legal functionality. Contact N. Stotler Law for a consultation on the importance of social media compliance by clicking here or calling 724-841-5565.

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