7. Writing a Social Media Policy
Social media has become a prominent fixture in people’s lives, both in the personal and corporate world. People post millions of opinions, facts, endorsements, advertisements, links, articles, and other musings every day. It is important that, whether posting on your personal account, or on behalf of your station, you use good judgment when posting. This document will provide guidelines on proper social media communication, whether personal or professional.
This document contains two sections: policies for your personal social media account, and policies for station social media accounts. The policies listed below are recommendations you can use to build your station’s social media policy. While the policies for personal and company accounts are similar, there should still be separate due to the different natures of each account. They are guidelines around which to build your policy, and should be modified to best fit your station’s needs.
NOTE: Some stations have already created social media policies, with varying structures and ranges of specificity. NCME is currently collecting those existing policies to share with other stations. If your station has already written a policy and is will to share it, please contact NCME.
Social Media Policy - Personal Accounts
- Your personal account is just that, personal. Make it explicitly known that your posts, thoughts, and opinions are your own, and not the station’s. You are welcome to post whatever you want, and use social media that will most benefit you, but do not associate your post from a station account if you are posting something related to yourself.
- You are allowed to identify yourself with your station. However, once you do, all of the content you generate must be consistent with how you would present yourself in any professional situation; your content will now be associated with your station by other people, whether intentionally or not.
- You are welcome and encouraged to post information related to your station. This is a great way to help programming go viral, and a great way to use your personal account to benefit your station.
- If you post something related to your station or public media, put in a disclaimer so that people know that it is your opinion, and not the opinion of your station.
- Do not post confidential or proprietary station information.
- Use common sense. Do not use profanity or offensive language, do not attack anyone online, and be as objective as possible. Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends, stay up to date on important news and information, and to improve your online interactions.
Social Media Policy - Station Accounts
- Follow all of the rules stated above for personal accounts.
- Always identify yourself when you post something on a company account. Put your name at the end of a blog post if you are contributing, unless you are instructed not to do so.
- Be objective; don’t post controversial topics, or comment on controversial subjects if the station could be construed as biased or offensive.
- Make sure whatever you are posting adds value to the station’s online presence. Personal posts, or posts with no value to the stations social media presence should not be made.
- Be respectful when responding to comments and replies, and always have the station’s best interest in mind.