SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
A guide for staff on using social media to promote the work of the Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project and in a personal capacity
This policy will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, at least once a year. Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project will amend this policy, following consultation, where appropriate.
Date of last review: 16/11/2023
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.
Social media is essential to the success of communicating Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘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 Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘s work.
The difference between a personal and professional opinion can be blurred on social media, particularly if you’re discussing issues relating to Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘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 all Volunteers, and trustees, and applies to content posted on both a Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project device and a personal device. Before engaging in work-related social media activity, staff must read this policy.
This policy sets out guidelines on how social media should be used to support the delivery and promotion of Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project, and the use of social media by staff 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.
There are currently no access restrictions to any of our social media sites in the Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project.
Andrew Orpin, Jeff Driver and John Howard 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 the Project Manager.No other staff member can post content on Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project’s official channels without the permission of the Project Manager.
Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project uses the following social media channels:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/officiallittlehamptonfort
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Lit_Fort
Instagram – https://instagram.com/littlehamptonfort
Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project has a Facebook account which it uses to share news with supporters and to encourage people to become involved in our work.
Using Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘s social media channels — appropriate conduct
1. Andrew Orpin is responsible for setting up and managing Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘s social media channels. Only those authorised to do so by the Project Manager will have access to these accounts.
2. The Media Officer (Jeff Driver) responds to comments Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, and then on evenings and weekends we have a social media out-of-hours rota, covered by the whole communications team.
3. Be an ambassador for our brand. Staff should ensure they reflect Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project 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 Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘s social media channels.
4. Make sure that all social media content has a purpose and a benefit for Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project, and accurately reflects Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project’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 Management Team wish to contribute content for social media, whether non-paid for or paid for advertising, they should speak to the Project Manager 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 Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project. 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 Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘s social media accounts, either directly by commenting or indirectly by ‘liking’, ‘sharing’ or ‘retweeting’. If you are in doubt about Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘s position on a particular issue, please speak to the Project Manager.
13. It is vital that Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project 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 Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project. This could confuse messaging and brand awareness. By Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project having official social media accounts in place, the Management Team can ensure consistency of the brand and focus on building a strong following.
16. Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project 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 Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project’s social media channels, staff should seek advice from the Project Manager before responding. If they are not available, then staff should speak to the Jeff Driver, Media Relations Officer.
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. The nature of social media means that complaints are visible and can escalate quickly. Not acting can be detrimental to the charity.
The Management Team regularly monitors our social media spaces for mentions of Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project 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 Management Team will do the following:
Escalate the issue to the Project Manager.
If any staff outside of the Management Team become aware of any comments online that they think have the potential to escalate into a crisis, whether on Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘s social media channels or elsewhere, they should speak to the Project Manager 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. Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project staff are expected to behave appropriately, and in ways that are consistent with Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘s values and policies, both online and in real life.
1. Be aware that any information you make public could affect how people perceive Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project . You must make it clear when you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project . If you are using your personal social media accounts to promote and talk about Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘s work, you must use a disclaimer such as: “The views expressed on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘s positions, policies or opinions.”
2. Staff who have a personal blog or website which indicates in any way that they work at Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project should discuss any potential conflicts of interest with their line manager and the Management Team . Similarly, staff who want to start blogging and wish to say that they work for Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project should discuss any potential conflicts of interest with their line manager and the Management Team.
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 Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘s view.
4. Use common sense and good judgement. Be aware of your association with Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project and ensure your profile and related content is consistent with how you wish to present yourself to the [general public, colleagues, partners and funders (delete as appropriate)].
5. Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project works with several high profile people, including celebrities, journalists, politicians and major donors. 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 Management 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 Management Team to share the details.
7. If a staff member is contacted by the press about their social media posts that relate to the Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project, they should talk to the Project Manager immediately and under no circumstances respond directly.
8. Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project 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 Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project, staff are expected to hold Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘s position of neutrality. Staff who are politically active in their spare time need to be clear in separating their personal political identity from Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project and understand and avoid potential conflicts of interest.
9. Never use Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project ‘s logos or trademarks unless approved to do so. Permission to use logos should be requested from the Project Manager.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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 Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project 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 Project Manafeer who will respond as appropriate.
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 Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project into disrepute by making defamatory comments about individuals or other organisations or groups.
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.
Any communications that staff make in a personal capacity must not breach confidentiality. For example, information meant for internal use only or information that Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project is not ready to disclose yet. For example, a news story that is embargoed for a particular date. Please refer to our [policy name i.e. Confidentiality Policy] for further information.
Staff should not post content that could be considered discriminatory against, or bullying or harassment of, any individual, on either an official Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project 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
Charities are legally allowed to campaign to bring about a change in policy or law to further their organisational purpose. In most cases, spending on charity campaigns that are in accordance with charity law will not be regulated under electoral law. However, the Lobbying Act, which was passed in January 2014, states that during national elections (known as regulated periods) spending on campaigning activities may be regulated.
Charities which spend more than £20,000 in England or £10,000 in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, during the regulated period, need to register with the Electoral Commission. To abide by the Lobbying Act, campaigning activities on social media must not be seen as intending to influence people’s voting choice. During these periods, all campaigning activity will be reviewed by the [job title].
Recruitment will be carried out utilising the projects social media accounts and with the express authority of the Project Manager.
There should be no systematic or routine checking of candidate’s online social media activities during the recruitment process, as conducting these searches might lead to a presumption that an applicant’s protected characteristics, such as religious beliefs or sexual orientation, played a part in a recruitment decision. This is in line with the Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project’s Equal Opportunities Policy.
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 the Project Manager immediately.
Young and vulnerable people face risks when using social networking sites. They may be at risk of being bullied, publishing sensitive and personal information on their profiles, or from becoming targets for online grooming.
Where known, when communicating with young people under 18-years-old via social media, staff should ensure the online relationship with Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project follows the same rules as the offline ‘real-life’ relationship. Staff should ensure that young people have been made aware of the risks of communicating and sharing information online, and given guidance on security/privacy settings as necessary. Staff should also ensure that the site itself is suitable for the young person and Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project content and other content is appropriate for them. Please refer to our [policy name i.e. Safeguarding Policy].
Everyone is responsible for their own compliance with this policy. Participation in social media on behalf of Littlehampton Fort Restoration Project 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 [policy name i.e. HR policy] 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 Project Manager.