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Social Media Guidelines

This document outlines how social media should and should not be used, to protect you, your colleagues and to minimise reputational damage to any Booker Symbol Group. Any breach of these guidelines can be investigated and could result in action being taken which may result in your contractual terms being reviewed.

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Who are these Guidelines for?

It applies to anyone working for and on behalf of Booker symbol groups and brands. This document doesn’t form part of your contract and may be amended as and when required.

What is social media?

Social media is a platform that allows you to publish information, share content and interact with others either to a wide audience or through private communications, such as private messages. Social media is the term used for internet-enabled tools used on computers, tablets, and smart phones to help you keep in touch and to interact with others. It allows you to share information, ideas, and views.

What types of social media does this document cover?

This document covers all social media platforms, including, but not limited to; YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, message boards, any website where you can contribute or edit content and instant messaging services e.g. WhatsApp, Snap Chat, etc, or any other existing or new social media platforms, whether it’s internal or external or used on a personal or a work device.

All forms of social media use are covered by this document, this can include but is not limited to; posting comments, pictures or videos, blogging, using forums, sending private messages, endorsing other people’s content, re-tweeting/circulating posts or adding/editing content on a website.

How should I use social media?

The below details how you should use social media. If you are uncertain about whether anything you are doing on social media may infringe these guidelines - please just check with your Retail Development Manager.

  • Make sure that your use of social media is consistent with the professional image you present to your colleagues, customers and third parties.
  • Be respectful to other people, even if you disagree with their opinion. Remember that you’re responsible for what you share on social media and any impact it has on others.
  • Make sure that any passwords you use are secure.
  • You can use the Booker symbol logos you are franchised for and the Booker brands you sell. You can use pictures of a symbol store with the branding on it in your posts, as long as it’s connected with your store, in-line with brand values, and any people in the photo are happy for it to be posted, for example, you could use pictures of a customer winning a competition or promoting an event, showing your team dressed up for a charity day, posting a photo of a great merchandising display, celebrating someone receiving an award or promoting community work. You should always seek permission wherever possible. Failure to do so will mean you are personally liable for anything you post.

What should I not use social media for?

Social media must not be used in a way that damages or puts into disrepute your business or the brands you represent, the law or regulatory requirements.

In Addition to the above, you must not do the following:

  • Use social media in a way that could, directly or indirectly, damage the reputation or cause actual or likely harm to the symbol group and consequently other retailers, colleagues’, supplier’s or a third party.
  • Make false or misleading claims about the symbol group or any Booker brand, colleagues or a third party.
  • Express opinions on behalf of any Booker symbol group or brand. The Booker PR department manages all comments from and on behalf of all symbol groups, including putting forward relevant spokespeople. If you have any queries, please contact the Booker PR department.
  • Share confidential information about Booker symbol groups or information that is not in the public domain, for example pricing information, performance information or company announcements that are not in the public domain. Share any ideas or information which may be protected by copyright or intellectual property rights or use brand names or logos which may be protected by trade mark law without first seeking permission from Booker. If you have a question about intellectual property, please contact your symbol group team.
  • In the context of or related to your duties as a symbol store operator, use, endorse or distribute statements, photos, videos, audio or send messages via Facebook, Twitter or instant messaging platforms such as whatsapp that reasonably could be viewed as malicious, abusive, offensive, obscene, threatening, intimidating or contain nudity or images of a sexual nature, or that could be seen as bullying, harassment or discrimination.
  • Give out personal or private information about colleagues or your customers, for example a telephone number, email address, home address.
  • Share your login details or let others post on your behalf. If you’re leaving the symbol group as a franchisee or employee remember to update your profile with your new company name or employment status.

Remember that your social media content can reach a wider, more public audience than you might have anticipated. Even if it was originally meant for a small group of friends or for a private message, colleagues or customers may have access to things you put online.

Reporting content that could cause reputational damage

The media and our competitors are always looking for information about our Symbol brands. Help us protect our company and reputation by thinking carefully about what you put online. If you see something online that may create reputational damage to the Booker symbol group or brands or are contacted by the press, please speak to your Retail Development Manager about this who can contact the Booker PR department.

What could happen if I breach these guidelines?

Any breach of these guidelines will be investigated and could result in your contract with the relevant Booker Symbol Group being reviewed. You must keep in mind that whilst this document does not form part of your contract with any of Bookers symbol brands you are personally liable for any content you distribute on any social media platform. Booker symbol group or any of the Brands will not accept responsibility for the actions of any Franchisee.

We reserve the right to access and take copies of any content we believe breaches these guidelines, which may be used in any investigation we may undertake and may be used in any subsequent legal proceedings. If you don’t remove the content when asked, this may also result in your contract terminated.