Failure to Have a Social Media Policy Can be Costly

Firms that do not have a social media policy in place should give consideration to introducing one and taking steps to make it part of the terms and conditions of employment for all staff members.

Use of the Internet during working hours can be a significant problem. As well as taking steps to prevent loss of productivity owing to unauthorised personal use, it is important to have rules in place governing business use of social media.

Some of the risks, such as someone making an inappropriate or damaging comment on the firm's social media account, are obvious. Others may be less obvious, such as the unintended creation of data leaks.

In a recent case, an AIM-listed company encountered a problem, which resulted in a fine of £50,000, when market-sensitive information was announced via social media before this had passed through the correct channels as required under the AIM rules for companies.