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SOCIAL MEDIA 
POLICIES & 
GUIDELINES 
With Lisa Colton
What We’ll Cover Today 
• The Value of a Policy 
• Values Inform Policy 
• Building Your Policy Step By Step
3 Obstacles to Social Media Maturity 
(You need fertile soil!)
Fear
Allocation of Resources
Get Everyone On The Same Page
EMBRACE THE PROCESS 
It can be even more 
valuable than the 
PRODUCT
What Are Your Goals? 
What does this policy mean for your organization?
Where Do You Fall On The Spectrum? 
Tactical: Spell 
everything out! 
Vision: Strategy doc to help 
others make decisions! 
Legal: lawyers 
lead the charge 
Informal: informal 
guidelines for staff 
For key personnel only Everyone will read and understand
Values Direct Policy
Determine Your Social Media Values 
From these values, create guidelines to use when posting… 
What are your core values? How do they translate? 
Value 
Responsiveness 
Impartiality 
What does this mean for your presence 
in the social media world? 
We will focus on listening to what others 
are saying in our community and make a 
priority to respond in a quick and 
informative manner. 
We will not take a stance on political issues 
in our posts nor offer recommendations 
that are not grounded in facts.
From Denver Academy of Torah’s Policy 
When thinking about the type of content DAT would like to 
promote, the following are the basic guidelines: 
• Educate- take advantage of what is available by highlighting 
articles, ideas, concepts that represent what we believe is 
educationally relevant. 
• Walk the Talk- the values we teach our students apply to our 
own online behavior. 
• Explore – take risks within reason, take advantage of the 
almost unlimited online resources. 
• Share- show what we are doing and share our students’ 
successes 
• Show- Demonstrate our support and love of Israel. Show our 
enthusiasm for learning and teaching. Show our consideration 
and care for our community
Let’s Try It Out: Organizational Values 
1. Turn to page 13 to see a list of values to brainstorm. 
1. What are your organization’s values (either from this list of 
otherwise)? Pick 3. 
2. Turn to page 14. How will those values be manifest in your 
social media work? Jot down some notes. 
3. Share with the person sitting next to you. Why did you pick 
those values, and how might it impact your work? 
4. Let’s hear a few highlights of what you learned from each 
other.
Who Should Be Involved? 
Who needs to have input into 
the policy? 
Who needs to have buying to 
the policy? 
Who needs to be educated 
about the policy? 
What other policies might need 
to be referenced?
Who Should Do What? 
Communications Strategy Privacy 
Customer Service Content Planning 
Content Creation/Coordination Content Posting 
Monitoring Measurement 
Policy / Sensitive Issues Training, Learning 
Turn to page 16. Do you know who should be playing each of these roles?
The Davis Academy, Parent Ambassadors 
Parents were an important player in 
their social media policy goals: 
1. Knew parents and alumni were 
key to better engagement. 
2. Wanted to set intentional culture. 
3. Wanted to model values they 
expect from students. 
4. Needed to teach parents what to 
do and why it mattered.
What Should You Say? 
Make you posts related to your 
values: 
• What is totally within bounds? 
• When is it okay to post 
outside of your guidelines?
What Should You NOT Say? 
What requires approval to post? 
What is taboo? 
From Westchester Day School’s policy: 
“Never post real-time location information about WDS students online.” 
“In an emergency or crisis, do not share information related to WDS via 
social media; if WDS needs to communicate via social media, an 
administrator will do so.”
Responding to Positive (and Neutral) Things 
When do you respond? 
Who should respond? 
What do you say? 
What are the implications? 
How is this connected to 
your brand? 
From Denver Academy of Torah: 
“We also will do our upmost to respond to most comments/responses within 48 
hours. When appropriate we will respond with phone calls.”
And…What Does It Mean To “Respond”?
Responding To Negative Things 
Should you limit or moderate discussion within your community? 
Will hurtful comments 
damage your community? 
Where might people say 
these things instead? 
Will it let you show how 
responsive you are? 
From Denver Academy of Torah: 
“We welcome the opportunity to have 
discourse and engage with our community. 
As such, healthy conversations and potential 
disagreements can be productive and 
stimulating. Disparaging or personal 
comments will not be tolerated. Take 
conversations offline that require further 
discussion or are personal in nature. We 
reserve the right to delete in appropriate 
comments. Be open, responsive, 
professional and positive.” 
Consider the actual damage that will be done
Guidelines For Your Community
Privacy Issues 
What are your potential 
privacy issues? 
• Faces? 
• Names? 
• Ages? 
• What can you post? 
• What can you only 
post with permission 
from those 
included? 
• What can you never 
post? 
• What should you 
keep private? 
Please refer to your organization’s privacy policy 
for more details, and include or reference as 
appropriate in your social media policy.
Personal vs. Professional: Posting 
What is NOT okay to post in 
each circumstance? 
• Posting as the organization 
on organizational account 
• Posting as individual on 
organizational account 
• Posting as an individual on 
individual account
Personal vs. Professional: 
Relationships 
Can staff befriend: 
• Board Members 
• Volunteers 
• Coworkers 
• Parents 
• Teachers 
• Case Workers 
• Children
From Charles E Smith Jewish Day School (sample of language used): 
Employees are expected to exercise prudence in creating their online networks 
in social media. Because of the widespread use of Facebook and the 
opportunities it provides for providing access to an employee’s personal 
information and postings, the School has established the following provisions 
for establishing social media relationships (“friending”) students, alumni, 
parents, and other members of the professional community. 
• Employees may not initiate or accept friend or contact requests from current 
students of any age or former students under the age of 18… 
• Employees are discouraged from “friending” parents of current or 
prospective students, due to the inherent conflicts of interest that this may 
raise … 
• Employees are asked to use good judgment when making or accepting 
“friend” (or “connection”) requests to or from School colleagues… 
• The School encourages employees to remind all other members of their 
networks of their positions as educators whose profiles may be accessed by 
students and other members of the School community…
Personal vs. Professional: 
Relationships 
What happens at your organization? 
What’s your personal line? 
What’s comfortable or uncomfortable?
Download Additional Copies of the 
Social Media Policy Workbook 
For Jewish Organizations 
• 10 topics 
• Sample language 
• Exercises 
http://www.darimonline.org/smpw
Thank You! 
Questions? 
Experience to Share? 
http://www.darimonline.org/smpw

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Social Media Policy Guide

  • 1. SOCIAL MEDIA POLICIES & GUIDELINES With Lisa Colton
  • 2. What We’ll Cover Today • The Value of a Policy • Values Inform Policy • Building Your Policy Step By Step
  • 3. 3 Obstacles to Social Media Maturity (You need fertile soil!)
  • 6. Get Everyone On The Same Page
  • 7. EMBRACE THE PROCESS It can be even more valuable than the PRODUCT
  • 8. What Are Your Goals? What does this policy mean for your organization?
  • 9. Where Do You Fall On The Spectrum? Tactical: Spell everything out! Vision: Strategy doc to help others make decisions! Legal: lawyers lead the charge Informal: informal guidelines for staff For key personnel only Everyone will read and understand
  • 11. Determine Your Social Media Values From these values, create guidelines to use when posting… What are your core values? How do they translate? Value Responsiveness Impartiality What does this mean for your presence in the social media world? We will focus on listening to what others are saying in our community and make a priority to respond in a quick and informative manner. We will not take a stance on political issues in our posts nor offer recommendations that are not grounded in facts.
  • 12. From Denver Academy of Torah’s Policy When thinking about the type of content DAT would like to promote, the following are the basic guidelines: • Educate- take advantage of what is available by highlighting articles, ideas, concepts that represent what we believe is educationally relevant. • Walk the Talk- the values we teach our students apply to our own online behavior. • Explore – take risks within reason, take advantage of the almost unlimited online resources. • Share- show what we are doing and share our students’ successes • Show- Demonstrate our support and love of Israel. Show our enthusiasm for learning and teaching. Show our consideration and care for our community
  • 13. Let’s Try It Out: Organizational Values 1. Turn to page 13 to see a list of values to brainstorm. 1. What are your organization’s values (either from this list of otherwise)? Pick 3. 2. Turn to page 14. How will those values be manifest in your social media work? Jot down some notes. 3. Share with the person sitting next to you. Why did you pick those values, and how might it impact your work? 4. Let’s hear a few highlights of what you learned from each other.
  • 14. Who Should Be Involved? Who needs to have input into the policy? Who needs to have buying to the policy? Who needs to be educated about the policy? What other policies might need to be referenced?
  • 15. Who Should Do What? Communications Strategy Privacy Customer Service Content Planning Content Creation/Coordination Content Posting Monitoring Measurement Policy / Sensitive Issues Training, Learning Turn to page 16. Do you know who should be playing each of these roles?
  • 16. The Davis Academy, Parent Ambassadors Parents were an important player in their social media policy goals: 1. Knew parents and alumni were key to better engagement. 2. Wanted to set intentional culture. 3. Wanted to model values they expect from students. 4. Needed to teach parents what to do and why it mattered.
  • 17. What Should You Say? Make you posts related to your values: • What is totally within bounds? • When is it okay to post outside of your guidelines?
  • 18. What Should You NOT Say? What requires approval to post? What is taboo? From Westchester Day School’s policy: “Never post real-time location information about WDS students online.” “In an emergency or crisis, do not share information related to WDS via social media; if WDS needs to communicate via social media, an administrator will do so.”
  • 19. Responding to Positive (and Neutral) Things When do you respond? Who should respond? What do you say? What are the implications? How is this connected to your brand? From Denver Academy of Torah: “We also will do our upmost to respond to most comments/responses within 48 hours. When appropriate we will respond with phone calls.”
  • 20. And…What Does It Mean To “Respond”?
  • 21. Responding To Negative Things Should you limit or moderate discussion within your community? Will hurtful comments damage your community? Where might people say these things instead? Will it let you show how responsive you are? From Denver Academy of Torah: “We welcome the opportunity to have discourse and engage with our community. As such, healthy conversations and potential disagreements can be productive and stimulating. Disparaging or personal comments will not be tolerated. Take conversations offline that require further discussion or are personal in nature. We reserve the right to delete in appropriate comments. Be open, responsive, professional and positive.” Consider the actual damage that will be done
  • 22. Guidelines For Your Community
  • 23. Privacy Issues What are your potential privacy issues? • Faces? • Names? • Ages? • What can you post? • What can you only post with permission from those included? • What can you never post? • What should you keep private? Please refer to your organization’s privacy policy for more details, and include or reference as appropriate in your social media policy.
  • 24. Personal vs. Professional: Posting What is NOT okay to post in each circumstance? • Posting as the organization on organizational account • Posting as individual on organizational account • Posting as an individual on individual account
  • 25. Personal vs. Professional: Relationships Can staff befriend: • Board Members • Volunteers • Coworkers • Parents • Teachers • Case Workers • Children
  • 26. From Charles E Smith Jewish Day School (sample of language used): Employees are expected to exercise prudence in creating their online networks in social media. Because of the widespread use of Facebook and the opportunities it provides for providing access to an employee’s personal information and postings, the School has established the following provisions for establishing social media relationships (“friending”) students, alumni, parents, and other members of the professional community. • Employees may not initiate or accept friend or contact requests from current students of any age or former students under the age of 18… • Employees are discouraged from “friending” parents of current or prospective students, due to the inherent conflicts of interest that this may raise … • Employees are asked to use good judgment when making or accepting “friend” (or “connection”) requests to or from School colleagues… • The School encourages employees to remind all other members of their networks of their positions as educators whose profiles may be accessed by students and other members of the School community…
  • 27. Personal vs. Professional: Relationships What happens at your organization? What’s your personal line? What’s comfortable or uncomfortable?
  • 28. Download Additional Copies of the Social Media Policy Workbook For Jewish Organizations • 10 topics • Sample language • Exercises http://www.darimonline.org/smpw
  • 29. Thank You! Questions? Experience to Share? http://www.darimonline.org/smpw