Social media policy

Introduction

What is social media?

Social media is the term given to web-based tools and applications which enable users to create and share content (words, images and video content), and network with each other through the sharing of information, opinions, knowledge and common interests. Examples of social media include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Why do we use social media?

Social media is essential to the success of communicating Re-engage's work. It is important for some staff to participate in social media to engage with our audience, participate in relevant conversations and raise the profile of Re-engage's work.

Why do we need a social media policy?

The difference between a personal and professional opinion can be blurred on social media, particularly if you're discussing issues relating to Re-engage's work. While we encourage the use of social media, we have certain standards, outlined in this policy, which we require everyone to observe. Publication and commentary on social media carries similar obligations to any other kind of publication or commentary in the public domain.

This policy is intended for staff members of all levels and trustees and applies to content posted on both a Re-engage device and a personal device. Before engaging in work-related social media activity, staff must read this policy.

Setting out the social media policy

This policy sets out guidelines on how social media should be used to support the delivery and promotion of Re-engage, and the use of social media by staff and Trustees in both a professional and personal capacity. It sets out what you need to be aware of when interacting in these spaces and is designed to help staff support and expand our official social media channels, while protecting the charity and its reputation and preventing any legal issues.

Internet access and monitoring usage

There are currently no access restrictions to any of our social media sites in the Re-engage office. However, when using the internet at work, it is important that staff refer to our IT Policy. You are permitted to make reasonable and appropriate use of personal social media activity during your lunch breaks. But usage should not be excessive and interfere with your duties.

Point of contact for social media

Our social media and PR officer is responsible for the day-to-day publishing, monitoring and management of our social media channels. If you have specific questions about any aspect of these channels, speak to them. No other staff member can post content on Re-engage's official channels without the permission of the director of fundraising and communications.

Which social media channels do we use?

Re-engage uses the following social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Re-engage’s Facebook account is used to share news with supporters and to encourage people to become involved in our work by either volunteering or referring an older person to us.

Re-engage’s Twitter account celebrates our successes, shares ideas, creates enthusiasm and publicise what we do. It also is a channel through which we promote our partnerships.

Re-engage’s Instagram account is used in a similar way to our Twitter account, but allows for more visual and longer form content.

Re-engage’s LinkedIn account is used to promote the charity to potential corporate partners.

Guidelines

Using Re-engage’s social media channels — appropriate conduct

  1. The communications team is responsible for setting up and managing Re-engage's social media channels. Only those authorised to do so by the director of fundraising and communications will have access to these accounts.
  2. Our digital communications officer responds to comments Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.
  3. Be an ambassador for our brand. Staff should ensure they reflect Re-engage values in what they post and use our tone of voice. Our brand guidelines set out our tone of voice that all staff should refer to when posting content on Re-engage's social media channels.
  4. Make sure that all social media content has a purpose and a benefit for Re-engage, and accurately reflects Re-engage's agreed position.
  5. Bring value to our audience(s). Answer their questions, help and engage with them.
  6. Take care with the presentation of content. Make sure that there are no typos, misspellings or grammatical errors. Also check the quality of images.
  7. Always pause and think before posting. That said, reply to comments in a timely manner, when a response is appropriate.
  8. If staff outside of the communications team wish to contribute content for social media, whether non-paid for or paid for advertising, they should speak to the social media and PR officer about this.
  9. Staff shouldn't post content about supporters or service users without their express permission. If staff are sharing information about supporters, service users or third party organisations, this content should be clearly labelled so our audiences know it has not come directly from Re-engage. If using interviews, videos or photos that clearly identify a child or young person, staff must ensure they have the consent of a parent or guardian before using them on social media.
  10. Always check facts. Staff should not automatically assume that material is accurate and should take reasonable steps where necessary to seek verification, for example, by checking data/statistics and being wary of photo manipulation.
  11. Be honest. Say what you know to be true or have a good source for. If you've made a mistake, don't be afraid to admit it.
  12. Staff should refrain from offering personal opinions via Re-engage's social media accounts, either directly by commenting or indirectly by 'liking', 'sharing' or 'retweeting'. If you are in doubt about Re-engage's position on a particular issue, please speak to the communications team.
  13. It is vital that Re-engage does not encourage others to risk their personal safety or that of others, to gather materials. For example, a video of a stunt.
  14. Staff should not encourage people to break the law to supply material for social media, such as using unauthorised video footage. All relevant rights for usage must be obtained before publishing material.
  15. Staff should not set up other Facebook groups or pages, Twitter accounts or any other social media channels on behalf of Re-engage. This could confuse messaging and brand awareness. By having official social media accounts in place, the communications team can ensure consistency of the brand and focus on building a strong following.
  16. Re-engage is not a political organisation and does not hold a view on party politics or have any affiliation with or links to political parties. We have every right to express views on policy, including the policies of parties, but we can't tell people how to vote.
  17. If a complaint is made on Re-engage's social media channels, staff should seek advice from the Director of Fundraising and Communications before responding. If they are not available, then staff should speak to the CEO.
  18. Sometimes issues can arise on social media which can escalate into a crisis situation because they are sensitive or risk serious damage to the charity's reputation. Examples might include: posting personal information that would allow one of our older people to be identified. The nature of social media means that complaints are visible and can escalate quickly. Not acting can be detrimental to the charity.

The communications team regularly monitors our social media spaces for mentions of Re-engage so we can catch any issues or problems early. If there is an issue that could develop or has already developed into a crisis situation, the communications team will do the following: report the situation to the director of fundraising and communications who will consult the SLT if required and act to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

If any staff outside of the communications team become aware of any comments online that they think have the potential to escalate into a crisis, whether on Re-engage's social media channels or elsewhere, they should speak to the communications manager and social media and PR officer immediately.

Use of personal social media accounts — appropriate conduct

This policy does not intend to inhibit personal use of social media but instead flags up those areas in which conflicts might arise. Re-engage staff are expected to behave appropriately, and in ways that are consistent with Re-engage's values and policies, both online and in real life.

  1. Be aware that any information you make public could affect how people perceive Re-engage. You must make it clear when you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of Re-engage. If you are using your personal social media accounts to promote and talk about Re-engage's work, you must use a disclaimer such as: "The views expressed on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent Re-engage's positions, policies or opinions."
  2. Staff who have a personal blog or website which indicates in any way that they work at Re-engage should discuss any potential conflicts of interest with their line manager and the communications team. Similarly, staff who want to start blogging and wish to say that they work for Re-engage should discuss any potential conflicts of interest with their line manager and the communications.
  3. Those in senior management, and specialist roles where they are well known in their field of expertise, must take particular care as personal views published may be misunderstood as expressing Re-engage's view.
  4. Use common sense and good judgement. Be aware of your association with Re-engage and ensure your profile and related content is consistent with how you wish to present yourself to the general public, colleagues, partners and funders.
  5. From time to time Re-engage works with high profile people. Please don't approach high profile people from your personal social media accounts to ask them to support the charity, as this could hinder any potential relationships that are being managed by communications team. This includes asking for retweets about the charity. If you have any information about high profile people that have a connection to our cause, or if there is someone who you would like to support the charity, please speak to the communications team to share the details.
  6. If a staff member is contacted by the press about their social media posts that relate to Reengage, they should talk to the communications team immediately and under no circumstances respond directly.
  7. Re-engage is not a political organisation and does not hold a view on party politics or have any affiliation with or links to political parties. When representing Re-engage, staff are expected to hold Re-engage's position of neutrality. Staff who are politically active in their spare time need to be clear in separating their personal political identity from Re-engage, and understand and avoid potential conflicts of interest.
  8. Never use Re-engage's logos or trademarks unless approved to do so. Permission to use logos should be requested from the director of fundraising and communications.
  9. Always protect yourself and the charity. Be careful with your privacy online and be cautious when sharing personal information. What your publish is widely accessible and will be around for a long time, so do consider the content carefully. When you are using social media sites at work, it is important that you do so safely. You can find more information on your responsibilities when using our computer systems in our IT Policy.
  10. Think about your reputation as well as the charity's. Express your opinions and deal with differences of opinion respectfully. Don't insult people or treat them badly. Passionate discussions and debates are fine, but you should always be respectful of others and their opinions. Be polite and the first to correct your own mistakes.
  11. We encourage staff to share tweets and posts that we have issued. When online in a personal capacity, you might also see opportunities to comment on or support Re-engage and the work we do. Where appropriate and using the guidelines within this policy, we encourage staff to do this as it provides a human voice and raises our profile. However, if the content is controversial or misrepresented, please highlight this to the communications team who will respond as appropriate.
  12. Never include any personal or identifying comments about individual guests, volunteers, staff members or other individuals associated with the charity.

Further guidelines

Libel

Libel is when a false written statement that is damaging to a person's reputation is published online or in print. Whether staff are posting content on social media as part of their job or in a personal capacity, they should not bring Re-engage into disrepute by making defamatory comments about individuals or other organisations or groups.

Copyright law It is critical that all staff abide by the laws governing copyright, under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Never use or adapt someone else's images or written content without permission. Failing to acknowledge the source/author/resource citation, where permission has been given to reproduce content, is also considered a breach of copyright.

Confidentiality

Any communications that staff make in a personal capacity must not breach confidentiality. For example, information meant for internal use only or information that Re-engage is not ready to disclose yet. For example, a news story that is embargoed for a particular date.

Discrimination and harassment

Staff should not post content that could be considered discriminatory against, or bullying or harassment of, any individual, on either an official Re-engage social media channel or a personal account. For example:

  • Making offensive or derogatory comments relating to sex, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief.
  • Using social media to bully another individual.
  • Posting images that are discriminatory or offensive or links to such content.

Protection and intervention

The responsibility for measures of protection and intervention lies first with the social networking site itself. Different social networking sites offer different models of interventions in different areas. For more information, refer to the guidance available on the social networking site itself. For example, Facebook. However, if a staff member considers that a person/people is / are at risk of harm, they should report this to their manager immediately.

Responsibilities and breach of policy

Everyone is responsible for their own compliance with this policy. Participation in social media on behalf of Re-engage is not a right but an opportunity, so it must be treated seriously and with respect. For staff, breaches of policy may incur disciplinary action, depending on the severity of the issue. Please refer to our staff handbook for further information on disciplinary procedures. Staff who are unsure about whether something they propose to do on social media might breach this policy, should seek advice from the communications manager.

Contact us

We have teams across the UK.

Address

Re-engage
7 Bell Yard
London
WC2A 2JR

Freephone:

0800 716543

Office phone:

020 7240 0630