Social media training is essential for any employer who wants his or her staff to help a business' online presence to thrive.
But there's more to this training than just making sure your employees know how to log on to Facebook and Twitter -- there are a few legal points you'll want to cover as well.
If you're unsure where to start, try these five legal topics on social media to cover with your staff:
Who owns your social media accounts? Pop quiz: Who owns your employees' social media accounts? If you don't know, your employees won't either. You need to impress upon your employees that the business owns their business Twitter accounts, including all followers. You can more easily police an account that you own, especially if your social media staff decide to quit.
Sponsored posts and FTC disclosures. If your business has been paid to endorse a product, any tweets or Facebook posts stemming from that paid endorsement need an FTC disclosure. Something like "This is a paid advertisement" or "Company X is sponsored by Company Y" may suffice for your needs, but you need to make sure your employees know to include the disclosure. This can get tricky when a business holds social media contests.
What's "protected speech" on social media? You can bar employees from using social media at work. You can even prohibit them from Facebooking or tweeting about the business -- but you need to carve out an exception for protected speech. If employees want to use Facebook or Twitter to converse with other employees about the company (e.g., about their salaries), your social media policy should be flexible to this kind of speech. A more absolute ban may be a violation of federal labor laws.