The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

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yellow emoticon very angry on you

How do you approach a delicate social media scenario in which your team member posts something inappropriate to their personal social media? Do you immediately terminate them or work together to figure out what to do?

1. Be Clear and Concise

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

The best teams work with open communication and without beating around the bush. If a team member posts something inappropriate on social media, confront them immediately and clearly explain to them why their post was unacceptable. Treat the situation as it should be treated (lightly or sternly depending on the scenario), and get to the point of why they should not post in this manner again. – Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com


2. Unless It Involves the Business, Use a Light Touch

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

I don’t believe businesses should dictate standards for their employee’s personal social media — there’s a boundary between work and the personal that should be respected. That said, if the employee posts something that threatens to blow back on the company, I would intervene to discuss it with them, and remind them that no employee is more important than the company as a whole. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting


3. Stay Calm and Lead

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

It depends on how bad the offense is. I can think of a few situations where termination could be warranted. But I think the most important thing is not to overreact or make assumptions. First, calm down. Blame for this issue could be shared by policies, miscommunications, or other variables. Then, talk privately and hear their side. Only then, decide on the right response. – Corey Northcutt, Northcutt Inbound Marketing


4. Address It Immediately

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

Whatever the outcome — whether it is termination or some type of reprimand — the most important thing to do is to address it immediately with the team member so you can remove it from social media before it creates a public relations nightmare for the company. It’s important to use a formal social mediapolicy as the basis for the discussion and punishment. – Angela Ruth, Due.com


5. Discuss and Evaluate the Situation

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

While it depends on the actual subject matter, there may be times when just discussing it with your employee creates an opportunity for reinforcing an existingsocial media policy or illustrates why you should formalize a policy and initiate training for your staff. The employee could have genuinely not realized what their post did in terms of brand reputation. – Drew Hendricks, Buttercup


6. Take Preventive Meaures

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

As a rule, it’s best to discuss the situation with the team member and make sure they understand that everything they post reflects on the company. Only in a very extreme case could I see terminating someone on the spot. It’s also best to take preventive measures by setting clear guidelines for this type of issue up front. When you do this, you can usually avoid this type of problem. – Shawn Porat, Fortune Cookie Advertising


7. Protect Yourself

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

I like my people, but all of them are in an industry where they better know what kind of impact social media can have. And if they don’t, it’s a clue that there are worse mistakes to be made down the line. They would expect me to gauge the reaction and protect my business, and that could mean termination if it were necessary. In general, I’ll tolerate tastelessness, but not hatefulness. – Adam Steele, The Magistrate


8. If You Work in Social Media, Terminate Them Immediately

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

As the CEO of a social media platform, I expect my team members to be socially savvy. This means they should have a clear understanding of what is inappropriate to post — even on a personal page. If something is over the line, we cut that team member. If he or she couldn’t figure out that the content was inappropriate, we can’t rely on that team member to represent our company. – Afif Khoury, SOCi, Inc


9. Think Carefully

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

Instant termination is not something that ever interests me, though I also work with a small group and everyone knows each other pretty well. Damage control should begin immediately. Talk to them, find out if they will simply remove the offending piece, and insist on a public apology if it has gained traction. Of course, termination may be the only option if they aren’t receptive to that. – Matt Doyle, Excel Builders


10. Be Critical, Not Unfair

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

Executives and upper management should already understand the impact social media can have on the perception of a business, but normal team members often forget they also represent the company. Instead of reacting brashly to an inappropriate post, be critical and use your better judgement. Weigh the seriousness of the offense, and be fair and understanding. Remember they are still an individual. – Blair Thomas, EMerchantBroker


11. Discuss and Train

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

Every issue involving social media should become a point of discussion that is then incorporated into a larger company-wide discussion and training session. When an employee posts something inappropriate, it typically means there could be bigger issues that need to be addressed as to why they would do that. Terminating does not fix those bigger issues. – Cynthia Johnson, RankLab


12. Ask Them to Create a Business Profile

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

I encountered this situation this year. An employee had pictures on her profile that did not align with our core values and company reputation. She managed our social media campaign. We met and I suggested that she create a business profile with her company email for our communications. Then, I walked through her profile and pointed out inappropriate content. My points were well-received. –Tamara Nall, The Leading Niche


13. Set Expectations

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

The real key is to set expectations for staff about what is expected as part of your organization. Are they missing deadlines yet posting pictures of date night with their significant other? Prioritize what is important and set the tone for the culture of your organization up front. The basic elementary-school rule of getting your work finished and playing nice works 99 percent of the time. – Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences


14. Take Stock of the Damage

The Best Ways to Handle Social Media Misconduct on Your Team

It really depends on what the teammate posts, but I will always try to get his or her version of the story. If the post ultimately goes against the company values, I would terminate the relationship. But it is important to evaluate and try to find a solution that suits all parties first. – Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

This article was written by Young Entrepreneur Council from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


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