LinkedIn has over 930 million members from more than 200 countries worldwide. It’s a social media platform that allows professionals to connect, share and learn from others online and focuses on professional networking and career development.
Each user has a profile compiled of various bits of information about themselves. This includes their past experience, education, qualifications, a bio, and a profile picture.
Legally, employers cannot control any aspect of an employees’ social media presence on any platform. In many aspects of work, social media is considered something personal and not at all related to the workplace. However some job roles, such as those who work in marketing or business networking, their social media presence could be included in their employment contract and restrict the way they are able to appear online.
On the other hand, it’s important to realise that an employee liking or sharing a social media post, could reflect either positively or negatively on their employer depending on its content. On LinkedIn, this is particularly relevant as it increased the visibility of the employer and thus can help to build or tear down a businesses reputation.
Employers could opt to include a clause within their employment contracts to impose clear duties and rules about social media platforms like LinkedIn on employees. This could be to promote the business, or it could be to prevent employees from sharing something detrimental to the company.
If employers don’t want to go as far as implementing a contract clause, then gentle encouragement to staff to use social media in a way that benefits the business is another option.
It’s important to remember that unless there is a contractual obligation, it is not the job of an employee to boost the company’s visibility on social media.
In order to ensure that employees understand their responsibilities regarding social media, whether this is during or outside working hours, employers should implement a Social Media Policy and keep this up to date. At it’s core, this policy should set out the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of using social media as an employee of the company. It should also over what would happen in the event of a breach and employers need to be able to protect their confidential information, and their reputation.