Your dental practice should be protected by an employee social media policy that your employees know and follow.
Note: Smile Savvy is an internet marketing company and not a law firm and this blog does not constitute legal advice. This is provided for general information and for your convenience. Ultimately, you alone are responsible for your online presence and any questions should be directed toward your own legal counsel, your state board and/or the AAPD.
Social media is too valuable to avoid.
Social media has given dental practices the ability to market to potential patients in ways never imagined. This has also provided unprecedented access to the private lives of your current patients and their families and has given them the same access to you. Social media success depends in large part on allowing people to see your practice as a community of people and not a business. There is great value in letting people know who you and your staff is “behind the scenes”.
Social media should be managed responsibly.
But this level of access also comes with risks as well. It’s fairly easy for people to find your personal social media profiles as well as those of your employees. The online reputation of your dental practice could be compromised by employees who don’t understand the power of social media or who don’t take care to limit what they say online.
A few simple guidelines can protect your dental practice.
As we mentioned above, we’re not a law firm and this shouldn’t be considered legal advice. But we can provide a few guidelines. Most are common sense (we think), but a few other s you may not have considered.
Above all else, it’s a great idea to talk to your employees about your specific policies. Frequent discussions about what is and is not appropriate to post online may save a lot of headaches in the future.
What an Employee Social Media Policy might look like.
What follows is an employee social media policy similar to what we use here at Smile Savvy. Again, it’s not intended to be used verbatim. Instead, consider this an example of what we consider to be important rules employees should follow and a policy you may consider having them sign.
Employee Social Media Policy
Protect the Practice. Protect Yourself.
Guidelines for posting and commenting on social media should reflect the same values that employees are expected to follow offline. We value trust, honesty and a respect for others. Your responsibility to our dental practice doesn’t end when you are off the clock. For that reason, this policy applies to both practice sponsored social media and personal use.
Employees should follow these guidelines:
- Never post negative comments about our practice, our patients or fellow employees. Even when you believe your posts to be private, our reputation depends upon a maturity in understanding what is appropriate to put online.
- We will not tolerate inflammatory or offensive speech of any kind. Disrespectful content such as racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, and physical disability slurs are not tolerated. While entitled to your own personal opinions, online discussions or disagreements about controversial issues should be respectful and reflect our core values.
- Avoid posts that cast our practice, our employees, patients or you in a negative light. This includes posts or pictures with reference s to illegal activities, drugs, drunkenness or any other subject that implies immoral or unethical behavior.
- Non-public financial or operational information is confidential. If it’s not already public information, it’s not your job to make it so.
- Never share personal information about our patients. This includes treatments, appointments, and pictures.
- Never discuss anything to do with a practice legal issue, legal case, or attorneys.
Remember, if it doesn’t belong on a billboard, you should think twice before posting it online.
Employees who violate these policies are subject to immediate termination.
Do you need help evaluating your social media presence?
Smile Savvy provides full management and support of social media for dentists. We provide weekly posting to major sites as well as weekly ideas for personalized content that can take your social media presence to the next level. Above all else, all Smile Savvy social media customers have access to hands-on training and consulting from our team. Check out our social media packages or contact us for a free evaluation of your current social media presence.