10+ Social Media Best Practices for Non-Profits

June 28, 2011 by John Oliver

Late in 2010 I wrote about my experiences working with one of our customers on developing a comprehensive social media policy to be used for their summer camp counselors. At the time, social media was on everyone's minds. Well guess what? That hasn't changed... not even a little bit. In fact, just today Google announced it's new social network, Google+.

As more and more people become fully immersed in social networking - and electronic communication in general - it will become increasingly important for organizations to be prepared to address difficult decisions related to privacy, training, communication with minors, and a wide array of other concerns.

In an attempt to provide some direction for organizations hoping to protect themselves, their employees, and their members, we are very excited to announce the release of our Social Media Best Practices Guide. This short, straight-forward best practice guide addresses the most pressing questions non-profit, youth-focused, and community-based organizations might have with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

But before we send you to the document we want to make one thing clear; this guide is a risk management best practice guide... NOT a marketing best practice guide. Social media best practice guides are traditionally designed with marketing people in mind. You've seen them: "Always imagine your messages are broadcast on a billboard", "Be engaging, not preachy", and "Only use three hashtags per tweet". These are all good nuggets of information, but none of these address issues of liability, negligence, EPLI claims, or defamation.

So, before reading, remember that many of these recommendations will go against every other social media best practice guide you've ever read.

After you've gone through the guide stop back and let us know what you think in the comment section below. What do you think we are missing? Do you disagree with any of the recommendations?

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