Social Media Policy. Policies and Procedures. Social Media Policy

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1 Policies and Procedures Social Media Policy 1

2 1. Introduction Privacy settings and personal information Use of Social Media at Work Account Administrators and Login Details Monitoring of Access Appropriate Conduct Inappropriate Conduct Misuse of Social Media Other policies you may wish to refer to 7 2

3 1. Introduction 1.1 Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) is committed to being an employer of choice. We believe that staff are central to achieving excellence in our services. As such, our policies reflect a working environment and practices that value staff contribution. 1.2 EUSA recognises the value that social media can have to our business if used in a responsible and professional way. While it is recognised that employees are entitled to a private life, EUSA is committed to maintaining confidentiality and professionalism at all times whilst also upholding its reputation by ensuring employees exhibit acceptable behaviours. 1.3 The Social Media Policy exists to govern the publication of and commentary on social media platforms by all categories of EUSA staff and volunteers. It applies to the use of social media for both business and personal purposes, whether during office hours or otherwise. The policy applies regardless of whether the social media is accessed using our IT facilities and equipment or equipment belonging to members of staff or volunteers. 1.4 Through this policy EUSA aims to: inform all relevant parties of their duty to ensure responsible use of social media platforms clearly outline the expectations regarding the use of social media platforms for work and personal purposes relating to work provide examples of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour with regards the use of websites and social media platforms 1.5 Social media is the term used to describe the online tools, websites and interactive media that enable users to interact with each other in various ways, through sharing information, opinions, knowledge, interests and material. Social media involves building online communities or networks, which encourage participation, dialogue and involvement. This includes, but is not limited to online blogs, wiki s and social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. The profile and messaging service on the EUSA website is also included. 1.6 This policy is in addition to, and complements, any existing or future policies regarding the use of technology, computers, and the internet. 1.7 This policy is non contractual and may be subject to review and change as required by employment law and EUSA. This document is available on the EUSA staff website. It should be noted that any printed copies are uncontrolled and cannot be guaranteed to constitute the current version of this policy. 2. Privacy settings and personal information 2.1 Default privacy settings for some social media websites allow some information to be shared beyond an individual s contacts. In such situations, the user of the site is personally responsible for adjusting the privacy settings for the account. 2.2 EUSA employees and volunteers are strongly encouraged to review their access and privacy settings for any social media sites to control, restrict and guard against who can access the information on those sites. Even if privacy and security settings are utilised, anything posted on social media sites may be made public by onward transmission. 3

4 2.3 To avoid identity theft, employees are advised to refrain from publishing any personal or sensitive information on social media websites, e.g. date of birth, home address, telephone number or any information related to personal bank accounts. 3. Use of Social Media at Work 3.1 Employees are allowed to make reasonable and appropriate use of social media websites from EUSA s computers or devices, as long as it does not interfere with their duties. 3.2 Personal use of social media is only permitted at reasonable times during their work schedule, such as before the start or after the end of shifts and during scheduled breaks. Social media platforms used for personal purposes should not be kept open and alerts to new messages or activity should be switched off during shifts. This includes access from mobile phones and other handheld devices with internet access. 3.3 Staff members must always be conscious of their duty as staff members to act in good faith and in the best interests of EUSA. 3.4 EUSA recognises that some staff will use social media as an integral part of their work. In this situation, staff should recognise that the content will reflect directly on to EUSA, and the following should be noted: The communication must have a purpose and a benefit for the organisation Social media profiles are encouraged to be set up on a departmental level rather than linked to identifiable individuals (eg EUSA Marketing not Laura Marketing/EUSA). Social media identities and usernames bearing EUSA s name should not be set up without prior approval of EUSA s Marketing, Sales and Communications Department. Employees must not post links to the EUSA website or EUSA social media profiles without prior approval from EUSA s Marketing, Sales and Communications Department. Account registration and login details need to be stored centrally and securely in line with EUSA s policies and procedures. Assistance in setting up and running social media accounts can be obtained from EUSA s Marketing, Sales and Communications Department. 3.5 EUSA allows staff to set up private groups on social media for the purpose of communicating within a department regarding work matters, provided that: Prior approval from the Head of Department has been obtained, and the Head of Department is added as Administrator. The communication can only be viewed by the members of that group. The members of that group include EUSA staff only Administrators must ensure that anyone leaving employment with EUSA is removed from the group. All provisions of this policy, including the rules under point 3.4 above, are adhered to. 4. Account Administrators and Login Details 4.1 EUSA views social media used in the work context as being under the jurisdiction of EUSA. 4.2 The following people must be added as administrators to all social media accounts, pages and groups relating to EUSA: Marketing Officer (Digital and New Media) Head of Marketing, Sales and Communications 4

5 4.3 EUSA will only access these accounts in cases of emergency or when the account must be shut down. Any other access will be discussed with the primary account user in advance. 4.4 The Marketing, Sales and Communications Department must be informed if a staff member wishes to change or close an account which is related to their work. In the cas of password changes, please refer to 3.4 above. 5. Monitoring of Social Media Usage 5.1 EUSA regularly monitors social media, blogs and online forums to gain indirect feedback on it's services and facilities. Unless required to do so in the proper performance of their duties, staff must not express any views about EUSA or their colleagues on pubic forums. 5.2 EUSA reserves the right to monitor internet usage on EUSA IT equipment, but will endeavour to inform the affected individual when this is to happen and the reasons for it. 5.3 EUSA considers that valid reasons for checking internet usage include, but are not limited to, suspicions that the individual has: Been spending an excessive amount of time using social media websites for non-workrelated activity; Acted in a way that is in breach of the rules set out in this policy. 6. Appropriate Conduct 6.1 The line between public and private, professional and personal is not always clearly defined when using social media. If an employee can be identified as a member of staff at EUSA, this has the potential to create perceptions about EUSA to a range of external audiences and also among colleagues and students. 6.2 When communicating either in a professional or personal capacity, within or outside the workplace, employees should: Conduct themselves in accordance with other EUSA policies and procedures, particularly when using social media to portray EUSA activities. Be professional, courteous and respectful as would be expected in any other situation. Be aware that social media platforms and networks are a public forum and anything communicated via social media could be passed on and potentially read by anyone. Be mindful that comments made on social media platforms and websites can be around for a long time employees are personally responsible for content published by them on social media tools. Be transparent and honest EUSA will not tolerate false representations; if employees express personal views it should be made clear that the views do not represent or reflect the view of EUSA. Never disclose any confidential information regarding EUSA, its suppliers, customers or employees, whether directly or indirectly. Remove or request the removal of any inappropriate comments, images or videos of them. 6.3 Staff should also be aware of links to groups being created to which they do not wish to be affiliated or which may be inappropriate to their role with EUSA. In particular, it is not appropriate for staff to comment in a professional or personal capacity on EUSA matters without the prior approval of their Head of Department, or to comment on or affiliate with any 5

6 candidate or campaign in relation to EUSA elections (this excludes staff who are students at the University of Edinburgh exercising their democratic rights, as long as they are not acting in their capacity as a EUSA employee). 6.4 The public in general, members of the University of Edinburgh and EUSA staff and customers reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. Staff members should always consider their audience before posting items or commenting on topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory before commenting, and should be aware that their comments could be misunderstood or used, either deliberately or in error, to misrepresent the individual or EUSA. 6.5 Staff members must show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others, including EUSA s own copyrights and brands. Any quoted material should be attributed to the original author/ source, ensuring that permission is received to do so. 7. Inappropriate Conduct 7.1 When communicating on social media either in a professional or personal capacity, within or outside the workplace, employees must not conduct themselves inappropriately. The following are examples of inappropriate conduct: Engaging in activities that have the potential to bring EUSA into disrepute. Breach of confidentiality by disclosing privileged, sensitive and/or confidential information. Making comments that could be considered to be bullying, harassing or discriminatory against any individual. Posting remarks which may inadvertently cause offence and constitute unlawful discrimination, harassment and/or victimisation. Posting, uploading or downloading inappropriate comments, images, photographs and/or video clips about EUSA staff, members, customers, suppliers or partners. Publishing defamatory and/or knowingly false material about EUSA, other employees, students or other EUSA stakeholders. Engaging in discussions or anything which may contravene EUSA s Dignity at Work and Equal Opportunities policies and may have the potential to cause serious harm to the business. Use of offensive, derogatory or intimidating language which may damage working relationships. Blurring the boundaries of professional and personal life. Participating in any activity which may compromise your position at EUSA. Behaviour that would not be acceptable in any other situation. Knowingly accessing, viewing, downloading or distributing material which could cause offence to other people or may be illegal. Commenting on any work-related matters, unless this is an integral part of the role. Posting or distributing any material that breaches copyright legislation. Using EUSA account to create a personal social media account. Doing anything that may conflict with the interests of EUSA. Using social media websites in any way which is deemed to be unlawful. The above examples are not exhaustive or exclusive. 7.2 Employees will be held personally liable for any material published on social media websites that compromise themselves, their colleagues and/or EUSA. 6

7 8. Misuse of Social Media 8.1 All employees are responsible for complying with the requirements of this policy and for reporting any breaches of this policy to their line manager or Human Resources. 8.2 Staff members should always report any misrepresentations made about EUSA in the media, online or on social media forums to their Head of Department or to the Marketing, Sales and Communications Department, ensuring that any evidence or facts are provided. This could, for example, be in the form of a screen shot of the relevant webpage. 8.3 Staff members must not enter into any discussion on social media platforms or websites regarding misrepresentations made about EUSA. 8.4 Any breach of this policy, including inappropriate conduct of the kind listed in section 7 above, or of a similar nature, and any excessive personal use of social media websites at work will be dealt with in accordance with EUSA s disciplinary procedure. Serious breaches of this policy may constitute gross misconduct and lead to summary dismissal. 9 Other policies you may wish to refer to - Disciplinary Policy & Procedure - Telephone Usage Policy - Dignity at Work Policy - Equal Opportunities Policy 7

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