Do you have a Social Media policy?

Do you know what your staff are saying and is it damaging your business?

Posted: 11 January 2018

Do you have a Social Media policy?

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Thanks to Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and numerous other outlets, veterinary employees are chatting with their friends and colleagues online more and more. But do you know what they are saying and is it damaging your practice?

Why do you need a social media policy?

There have been many examples of employees making comments on Facebook and Twitter that have brought companies into disrepute. By doing this they have at the least caused upset to their clients, and at worst have caused companies to lose clients or face legal action.

All businesses are at risk, including veterinary practices.

Most of us are naïve about social media

We think that only close friends are reading comments on Facebook and Twitter. However comments and images can spread rapidly into the bigger world.

How can a social media policy protect you?

A social media policy sets out what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, and sets a line in the sand for everyone. If it is explained clearly to everyone, they’ll know exactly what they can and can’t do online regarding work. 

A Policy is there to protect employees as much as the boss.

11 key points to include in a Social Media Policy

  1. Always behave professionally at all times when writing or posting images about work, even if it’s being done at home on a personal social media account.
  2. Don’t make any personal comments relating to work.
  3. Don’t post anything about the practice that that could bring it into disrepute.
  4. Abusive comments about the practice, staff, clients or patients are considered as abusive comments in law.
  5. Confidential information about the practice, especially the names of clients, patients or colleagues, must never be posted online.
  6. Never imply that the practice endorses any personal views
  7. Forbidden social media activity includes posting content or images that are offensive, pornographic, branded, harassing and slanderous or that can create an unfriendly work environment.
  8. Always get permission before posting images of any current or former members of staff.
  9. Always get permission to use a third party copyrighted material, trademarks or intellectual property.
  10. Keep the vet practice’s social media account separate from personal accounts.
  11. Remember, information that employees post or publish may be public information for a long time.

Get help from a solicitor to check the social media policy of the practice to ensure it gives adequate protection.

Don’t take the risk

If you run or own a veterinary business employing vets, nurses, receptionists and office staff, get a Social Media Policy and keep everyone and your business protected.

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