Sustainable Agriculture Institute

Social Media Policy

 

Policy brief & purpose

SAI’s Social Media Policy provides a framework for using social media. Social media is a place where people exchange information, opinions and experiences to learn, develop and have fun. Whether employees are handling a corporate account or use one of their own, they should remain productive. This policy provides practical advice to avoid issues that might arise by careless use of social media in the workplace.

Scope

We expect all our employees to follow this policy.

Policy elements

Social media” refers to a variety of online communities like blogs, social networks, chat rooms and forums. This policy covers all of them.

We consider two different elements: using personal social media at work and representing our company through social media.

 

Using personal social media

We allow employees to access their personal accounts at work. But, we expect them to act responsibly and ensure their productivity isn’t affected. Using social media excessively while at work can reduce efficiency and concentration. Whether employees are using their accounts for business or personal purposes, they may easily get sidetracked by the vast amount of available content.

We advise our employees to:

  • Use their common sense. If employees neglect their job duties to spend time on social media, their decline in productivity will show on their performance reviews.
  • Ensure others know that personal account or statements don’t represent our company. Employees shouldn’t state or imply that their personal opinions and content are authorized or endorsed by our company. We advise using a disclaimer such as “opinions are my own” to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Avoid sharing intellectual property like trademarks on a personal account without approval. Confidentiality policies and laws always apply.
  • Avoid any defamatory, offensive or derogatory content. It may be considered as a violation of our company’s anti-harassment policy, if directed towards colleagues, clients or partners.

Representing our company

Some employees represent our company by handling corporate social media accounts or speak on our company’s behalf. We expect them to act carefully and responsibly to protect our company’s image and reputation. Employees should:

  • Be respectful, polite and patient, when engaging in conversations on our company’s behalf. They should be extra careful when making declarations or promises towards customers and stakeholders
  • Avoid speaking on matters outside their field of expertise when possible. Everyone should be careful not to answer questions or make statements that fall under somebody else’s responsibility
  • Follow our confidentiality policy and data protection policy and observe laws on copyright, trademarks, plagiarism and fair use
  • Avoid deleting or ignoring comments for no reason. They should listen and reply to criticism.
  • Never post discriminatory, offensive or libelous content and commentary
  • Correct or remove any misleading or false content as quickly as possible

Disciplinary Consequences

We’ll monitor all social media postings on our corporate account.

We may have to take disciplinary action leading up to and including termination if employees do not follow this policy’s guidelines.

Examples of non-conformity with the employee social media policy include but are not limited to:

  • Disregarding job responsibilities and deadlines to use social media
  • Disclosing confidential information through personal or corporate accounts
  • Directing offensive comments towards other members of the online community