Answers to tricky HR questions: Does our social media policy apply to contractors?

Our team of experts fields real-life, everyday questions from HR managers and gives practical answers that can be applied by any HR pro in the same situation. Today’s issue: Social media policies and contractors/freelancers.
The question:
Should we forbid contractors and freelancers from identifying with our firm on social media?
The answer:
Not necessarily — a lot of positive interaction and community association can come with good social media communication, says Dawn Lomer on the i-Sight blog.
Ideally, your policy covers both employees and contractors.
But there’s not much you can do when it comes to taking action against a casual contractor for an errant Tweet — aside from not doing business with him or her anymore.
In terms of prevention, it’s best to have every contractor read your policy, which should include a section that deals with identification of the firm in profiles and comments.
Best bet: Before using a freelancer or contractor, talk to him or her about your expectations around social media and make it clear that you expect them to follow the same standards as regular employees.