Businesses in North Wales and Chester were warned about the dangers of failing to implement a robust staff social media policy.

Experts from law firm Hillyer McKeown and digital PR agency Outwrite spoke about how to set clear boundaries for staff over social media use, as well as how to set marketing objectives and evaluate social media activity, at an event at Deeside.

The seminar was the latest Employment Essentials session run by Chester-based Hillyer McKeown and follows on from its survey in 2014 that 66 per cent of businesses in the region don’t have a social media policy in place.

The law firm used examples of how companies have had major employment law issues such as being unable to discipline a staff member who spoke negatively about the firm on Facebook due to a lack of a social media policy.

Head of employment law at Hillyer McKeown, Justine Watkinson, said: “With social media prevalent in the lives of employees, it is imperative that employers update their policies to take account of issues that may arise as a result of improper social media usage such as an employee complaining about customers online.

“A robust social media policy will leave no room for doubt should an employment law issue come to the fore.

“ Every business should have one; even if you only employ one person, a social media policy is necessary for you.”

The session also looked at how businesses can use social media to build brand awareness and enhance their reputation online.

Head of digital at Mold-based Outwrite, Anthony Bullick, went on to speak about two aspects that are often neglected by businesses when marketing their brand online: strategy and evaluation.

He said: “A lot of focus is, quite rightly, placed on content when it comes to social media. However, posting individual pieces of content that are well written and informative can have little impact without research and a well-thought through strategy.

“To get the best return from their investment in social media, companies should ensure that their social media activity links to their overall businesses goals. They need to identify the exact audiences they want to engage and draft content that will appeal to them.

“Finally we looked at typical KPIs (key performance indicators) used to measure the success of your social media activity. There are plenty of online analytics now that enable firms to monitor the effectiveness of online marketing, thereby proving its contribution to the bottom line.”

Hillyer McKeown Hillyer McKeown is one of the leading corporate and personal law firms in the North West, with offices in North Wales, Chester and Wirral. The firm has extensive experience of employment law and HR matters and are trusted business advisers to employers of all sizes, providing practical and commercially sound advice.

Outwrite was founded in 1994 and specialises in PR, social media and SEO (search engine optimisation). It also has extensive experience in digital training and providing consultancy to businesses on social media and SEO.

For more information about social media policies visit Hillyer McKeown, or click for more information about social media marketing.