Welcome to part 2 in our new series, Smart social media guidelines. We’re outlining the essential topics that should be covered in an organization’s social media handbook. The following social media guidelines can easily be updated to reflect your organizations tone. Feel free to use these as a basis for outlining your staff’s guidelines.
All content you post is your personal and legal responsibility. Clearly state that your opinions are your own. If you post to a site outside of your organization, it is wise to use a disclaimer similar to this: The opinions on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent My Organization, it’s grantees/owners or partners.
Example: “I think our local nonprofits are making great headway on this year’s environmental sustainability goals!”
Use your real name, identify that you work for My Organization, and be clear about your role. Reveal your personal affiliations and conflicts of interests. If you have a vested interest in what you are writing about, be the first to say so. Your online comments are public for the entire world to see. Treat them the same way you would in a business meeting or public forum. Assume your boss, family, friends, and coworkers read everything you write, because chances are good that they are.
“I’m an accountant at Thinktapp, a social branding agency. I love surfing, photography, and yes, I read mystery books like nobody’s business.”
Write in the first person. Reveal your personality and say what’s on your mind. Be authentic. Avoid perception of deception. Avoid anonymity.
Your honesty, or lack of, will be quickly apparent. Be original and don’t plagiarize. Confirm your facts and figures because if you don’t, someone else will. Distinguish opinions from facts and make sure your audience can tell the difference. If you make a mistake, be upfront and correct it immediately to restore trust. Rather than editing your content once it has been published, find ways to make your corrections transparent.
“Earlier today I said 80% of food we eat is from out of state. I meant to say 20%, here’s a link to the article: http://www…”
Use common sense. Protect yourself, your privacy, and My Company’s confidential and proprietary information. What you publish is widely accessible, so consider the content carefully and be judicious in disclosing confidential details.
“Crazy day at work today. XYZnonprofit is in some HOT water. Guess they should have filed with the IRS.”