In today’s digital world every nonprofit’s employees, volunteers, board members and other stakeholders can become vocal online advocates, and may intentionally or unintentionally talk about your organization on social media. Every nonprofit organization should have a social media policy that clearly defines to all employees, volunteers and other stakeholders what is acceptable and unacceptable in their social media sharing about your nonprofit.
3 Steps to Create a Social Media Policy For Your NonProfit
1. Write your social media policies down
Verbal policies are subject to misinterpretation: be very clear about your nonprofit's social media policies and write down your social media policies as part of your HR employee and volunteer manual. Research your local and national laws to make sure your social media policies are in compliance.
- Who is authorized to post social media on behalf of your business?
- Are employees allowed to post photos or share information about events happening at your nonprofit organization?
- What are the consequences for failing to follow your organization's social media policies?
2. Conduct trainings to distribute and explain social media policies
Each employee and volunteer should be officially informed of your nonprofit’s social media policies when they are hired or during volunteer training as part of the onboarding process. If you are implementing a social media policy for the first time, call a staff meeting to introduce and explain your social media policies to everyone so that there is no misunderstanding. Make sure volunteers, board members and other stake holders are trained on your social media policies.
As part of your employee onboarding and volunteer training process, document social media training.
3. Define what your nonprofit employees and volunteers can share on social media
Many nonprofits benefit from their employees and volunteers sharing information about their organization – and many employees love where they work, and want to share their enthusiasm on their own social media channels. Sharing on social is good: as long as everyone is clear on what is, and what is not, appropriate for sharing about your business on social media.
A clear, written and current social media policy is important for your nonprofit to avoid and manage social media blunders and prevent unwanted sharing of private, sensitive information.