Guide to regulating business use social media

Business networking sites, like “LinkedIn”, “Twitter”, “Facebook” and “Google+” present a real and present danger to your business because they allow your staff to invite your clients/ their employees to connect with your staff directly creating a future contact method which sits independently of your business.

This will of course make it very easy for departing employees to update their social media platforms to let contacts know where they are going next.  This will make it very very difficult for you to police/prove solicitation and breach of a related restrictive covenant  e.g. does updating a LinkedIn profile page, to show new employer details, equate to soliciting?

Possible solutions:

If business networking sites do not form part of your marketing strategy then introduce a policy to prohibit such usage including a prohibition against making contacts/linking with your contacts/clients/their employees.  The issue here that policing such a policy is likely to be difficult and given the widespread use of social media a better approach may be to allow use but to train staff on how they should do so.

If business networking sites do form part of your businesses marketing strategy:

Tell staff that any client contacts they add to LinkedIn (with your permission) will remain your confidential information/your contacts.

Make it a contractual term that such contacts must not be used during any period of post-employment restriction or garden leave.  You should also consider inserting a contractual provision requiring the departing employee to remove such contacts during notice and prior to them updating their employment status on any social media platform.

If you need advice or have any questions in relation to the above, please contact David Greenhalgh on 020 3603 2177.

This article/blog is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action.