Social Media Off the Clock

Define acceptable off-duty use of social media platforms for employees.

April 8, 2012

Your credit union’s social media presence likely expands to employees’ personal pages. But being off-duty doesn’t give staff carte blanche to post anything they want about the credit union or those affiliated with it.

That’s why credit unions should define acceptable off-duty use of social media platforms, says Joni Lovingood, senior consultant, risk management, for CUNA Mutual Group. She offers three pointers:

  1. Reinforce to supervisors that they shouldn’t “friend” their direct reports due to potential conflicts;
  2. Remind employees they’re responsible for content on publicly accessible social media pages when they could be identified as a credit union employee, and that in those circumstances they must maintain a professional presence;
  3. Require employees to use a disclaimer when posting content concerning the credit union or people associated with it.

An effective disclaimer could read, “The following comments are my own. They’re not made on behalf of the credit union and are not intended to represent the credit union’s positions, strategies, or opinions.”

Other advice Lovingood offers:

  • Define your social media use expectations clearly in your policy;
  • State that employees may only access social media websites consistent with the credit union’s security protocols;
  • Educate staff on the risks of exposing confidential information about their employer, other employees, volunteers, and members;
  • Monitor social media use via credit union resources; and
  • Outline expectations for reporting policy violations, and state that retaliation for reporting violations isn’t acceptable.