Social Media Policies For Your Business
The Need to Respond to Social Media
You might have heard of Sonny Truyen, the Australian who recently arrived in Singapore and called Singapore “a f****** s*** country” on his Facebook page, because Pokemon Go was not available in Singapore yet. A Singaporean commentator took offense at his comment, and it resulted in Truyen insulting the commentator, and in netizens finding out Truyen’s place of employment.
Within a day, Truyen was terminated from his position as a search engine optimization consultant at local online property portal 99.co. The CEO of 99.co, Darius Cheung, apologized in a statement and stated that Truyen’s insulting behavior went against the company’s values. That is the speed of social media.
It can be said that Mr Cheung's decisive handling of the situation went a long way towards affirming the company’s values.
Increasingly, businesses have to think about handling their reputations on social media.
Law and Social Media
From a legal perspective, social media cuts across different areas of law. A customer review may be fraudulent, or defamatory of your business. Your own social media materials may infringe copyright laws if you’re not careful. Your employees may post seditious (or insulting) comments online and bring your business into disrepute. All of these require different actions, with litigation only being one of the tools.
A Guide for Social Media
Forward-thinking companies have started thinking about social media and come up with social media policies to align different stakeholders in the company. Such policies can affect business processes and employment contracts. The idea behind a social media policy is to educate employees on how to conduct themselves and to let them know that they will be held accountable for their actions on social media.
Examples include the social media policies of Best Buy and Adidas.