(the Elements of an Effective—and Legal—Social Media Policy)

September 2, 2011 By Kevin Shook

As the popularity of social media continues to explode, companies across the country have scrambled to develop a social media policy that makes sense for their business and industry.  The purpose of a social media policy is for an employer to provide guidance and baseline expectations to all employees who engage in social media.  When creating a social media policy, you should consult a lawyer.  At its core, every social media policy should begin by very clearly establishing the following three things: (1) a definition of social media; (2) a policy regarding whether the employer will allow an employee to engage in social media in the workplace; and (3) a warning that employees who do not follow the policy may be disciplined and terminated.  Once these three core elements are established, there are numerous other considerations and best practices that should be set forth and tailored to fit the needs of each individual business.  

If you decide to permit Social Media at the workplace, you should consider:

Even if you do not support or encourage social media at the workplace, the policy should:

If you use social media to investigate and screen potential new employees, you should:

Frost Brown Todd, LLC regularly assists businesses with crafting social media policies.  If you are interested in creating a social media policy for your business, contact Kevin Shook, Frost Brown Todd, LLC,, 614.559.7214.