Social media in the workplace is now mainstream, and before weighing the pros and cons, let's review what makes up social medial. Social media is a widely used term and refers to "media" such as a video, text, picture, podcast, etc., being shared on the internet through various applications for others to interact with your posts.
Employers use social media platforms for marketing their brands and attracting employees and customers. Regardless of which social media you may use to meet your business goals. There are certain advantages and sometimes not-so-obvious disadvantages to the person making the post.
Don't risk posting pictures with safety issues. One of the most significant disadvantages I see daily in company promotions is posting safety violations. It can be harmful or painful to your company and represent a negative image. I have seen these on all forms of social media, contractors' websites, and television ads.
While OSHA is not actively searching your company's social media pages and websites for safety violations, you need to know what you and your workers are posting. Likewise, you do not want your photos of crews accidentally showing unsafe installation practices, which would tell your clients and prospects that you do not value a safety culture in your organization.
An often overlooked step in protecting your company and employees are obtaining their prior written consent before posting on a company website or social media. To ensure that you comply with the law and address employee concerns and objections, you should attain each employee's consent, in writing, before proceeding. At a minimum, the consent should spell out the purposes for using the photo/video, how the material will be used, and that employee consent is entirely voluntary. Additionally, you should inform employees if they will be allowed to see the photo/video before it is used.
The last note of caution is to check your project contracts to verify that there are no clauses that expressly prohibit you from posting photos or videos of your project. Often, these clauses are included in the contract and require express written permission and review of any media before posting.
Building a winning social media presence may feel like a chore, but following some best practices and avoiding some commonly overlooked pitfalls, can make a robust online presence that instills trust in your current and potential customers.
About John Kenney
John Kenney is the Chief Executive Officer at Cotney Consulting Group. Prior to starting Cotney, John had 45 years of experience in the construction industry. John began his career by working as a roofing apprentice at a family business in the Northeast. Because of his skill and hard work, he progressed from roofing laborer to foreman, estimator, chief estimator, Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer with his various companies. John has worked for multiple Top 100 Roofing Contractors and is intimately familiar with all aspects of roofing production, estimating, and operations. In his last role, John was responsible for the daily operations and performance of a large commercial roofing contractor. During his tenure, John ran business units associated with delivering excellent workmanship and unparalleled customer service while ensuring healthy net profits for his company.
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