If you have staff or volunteers managing social media on behalf of your grassroots organisation, then you must have a social media policy. Lucky for you, we’ve whipped up a template.
A social media policy doesn’t have to be long and complex. It does need to do some basic things. It needs to clearly outline your expectations of staff and volunteers, especially when they’re posting content or interacting with others on your behalf. But it should also offer some guidance as to what’s expected of them on their own private and personal social media accounts as well.
You wouldn’t retain an employee who stood on a street corner shouting racist slurs. Social media is no different. You must have principles in place that guide exactly how people behave in the digital sphere.
About this social media policy template
You must seek professional legal advice before finalising a social media policy. This template is intended to be a starting point for grassroots groups who have never considered the need for a social media policy before.
For more information about why you might need a social media policy, read our article on ‘what is a social media policy and who needs one?’
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OUR ORGANISATION social media template
Our organisation has developed this social media policy to support our staff and volunteers to use social and digital media effectively while maintaining a high level of ethics and enhancing our organisation’s brand.
The policy applies to all staff, volunteers and contractors of our organisation.
This policy relates to all social and digital media platforms, whether explicitly listed or not. This includes Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The policy covers the following activities:
- Creating a social media account, group, page or other presence on behalf of the organisation
- Publishing content on our organisation’s social media accounts
- Posting or interacting as the organisation across the digital sphere
- Representing the organisation in digital forums
- Communicating about the organisation on social media
- Communicating about a field of expertise for which they are engaged at our organisation
- We commit to acting with honesty and transparency on social media.
- We will be polite and considerate at all times.
- If it’s not something we’d say in person, we won’t say it on social media.
- All digital communication will uphold the principles, ethics and values that we foster as an organisation.
- We will always be apolitical and non-partisan on social media.
- We will strive to uphold the organisation’s brand. We will not do or say anything that may have a negative impact on our organisation.
- We understand that anything posted on social media immediately becomes public information. This means social media posts can be difficult to erase, remove or retract.
- All social media accounts created for the organisation are the property of the organisation.
- Only those people approved by the board or CEO (or other individual or committee) may act as an authorised spokesperson or representative of the organisation on social media.
- When acting as an authorised spokesperson or approved representative of the organisation on social media, you must:
- Use social media to enhance the organisation’s brand and contribute to the organisation achieving its mission and vision.
- Disclose, where appropriate, that you are a staff member or volunteer of our organisation
- Only post information that is approved or follows approved content plans
- Only comment on or interact with appropriate posts (refer to our community guidelines below)
- Avoid blurring the lines between personal posts and organisational posts. A reader should know at all times who you are representing).
- Clearly communicate with users the organisation’s social media community guidelines (refer below) where necessary.
- Maintain the privacy of the organisation’s staff and volunteers.
- Respect workplace confidentiality, including trade secrets, financial information, and other non-public information
- Always have permission to use a person’s image on social media.
- Familiarise themselves with any new legislation or regulations which apply to social media use
- Ensure all content is proof-read to ensure there are no errors in spelling or grammar.
- When using your personal and private social media accounts, you must:
- Only use your private email account to establish private social media accounts (that is, you must not use your organisational email account to set up a new social media account).
- Not disclose any confidential, corporate or sensitive information obtained through your work with our organisation
- Accept personal responsibility for items posted on individual sites and not cite clients, staff, partners, funders or volunteers without their approval.
- Maintain the privacy of other staff, volunteers, donors and stakeholders
- Exercise the same professional judgement as you would in your day-to-day work.
- Notify a responsible person if you see something about our organisation on social media, that you don’t think should be there.
- Be respectful of others, in the same way you would through face-to-face contact.
- Maintain the organisation’s high cultural standards and adhere to any documented codes of conduct, organisational values and the principles in this social media policy.
- To support its staff and volunteers to participate in the digital space safely and with clear guidelines, our organisation will:
- Maintain a register of social media channels, log-ins and administrators appointed
- Clearly document the roles and responsibilities of staff and volunteers charged with maintaining the organisation’s social media presence.
- Ensure its staff and volunteers receive appropriate training and resources so that they are best equipped to manage social media on the organisation’s behalf
- Only appoint those with appropriate skills and knowledge to manage social media.
- Create a content plan for its social media channels
- Review this policy annually.
Social media community guidelines
These guidelines outline how people can interact with us on pages, events, posts and groups across social media and the digital landscape. Posts on the organisation’s social media channels may be deleted or hidden as determined by the social media manager or authorised representative if they contain:
- threats of violence, harassment or insult of others
- violent, obscene, profane, hateful, derogatory, racist, homophobic or sexist language, images, memes or links
- information that may compromise the safety or security of a specific person or any member of the public
- any post that compromises a person’s privacy or shares private details
- any discussion or promotion of behaviour that is unlawful
- comments that threaten or defame any person or organisation
- solicitations, advertisements, endorsements or spam
- off-topic posts by a single user
- repetitive posts copied and pasted or duplicated by single or multiple users
- any other inappropriate content or comments as determined by the organisation
Download useful social media policy templates
If you need this template as a PDF, shoot us an email
View QWaLC template for Queensland Landcare Groups
View Play by the Rules social media template for sporting groups