Many of your organization’s policies – like HIPAA compliance or donor privacy – can be written by the CEO to top leadership without input from staff. This is not the case with social media policies. If you are the CEO and are tempted to write a policy without including your staff in the process, I beg you – STOP. Do not pass go.
As you will see in this and other posts, I am a big fan of team work when it comes to social media. There are key players in any organization that must be involved
in order to 1) be successful and 2) minimize risk.
If yours is like many organizations, most of your social media activity is completed by program staff. Many of these program staff are from the Gen Y generation or are on the younger side of Gen X. This is great. You need at least one “Digital Native” who is familiar with the tools on your team. However, as I discuss in this and other blogs, the skill sets of your core leadership team are absolutely necessary.
Here is a quick snapshot of who should be on your Social Media Team and what they might contribute:
- CEO / Executive Director: provides overall leadership
- HR Director: anticipates and provides guidance on employee related concerns
- IT Director: provides technical support and anticipates IT and site related concerns
- Program Director: establishes outcomes and identifies staffing needs; this is critical for nonprofits doing client outreach and/or program participant tracking
- Development and/or Marketing Director: provides guidance on messaging, branding, and integration with organization’s marketing and outreach activities
- Social Media program staff: provides insights in social media, researches target populations’ online activities
- At least one (preferably more) “Digital Native”: ideally one or more of the above categories will include a “Digital Native” (bicultural in the social media world) but if not, invite one to participate
- Anyone else you might think necessary: for example, a board member or volunteer with particular expertise
- A social media savvy lawyer: whether it is a volunteer board member or paid counsel, it is imperative that a social media savvy lawyer review your polices before you put them into place and that s/he be available for questions down the road
As you can see, this is a power-house of a team. Their role will
- Set the course for where you want to go
- Develop and review policies
- Encourage creativity
- Stay abreast of new opportunities (including funding!) and challenges
- Monitor and (sometimes) participate in social media dialogue
- Provide guidance and trouble shoot along the way
You might be successful without creating a core team; however, there are many complex issues involved in social media outreach for nonprofits. To minimize risk and maximize success, you’re best bet is bring the team together early and often.
Stay tuned. In future posts I’ll discuss how to work together to create the right policies for your organization, anticipate opportunities, and dodge challenges.
For resources, visit my Social Media Policies resource page.
Does your organization have a Social Media Team? If so, tell us about your success below.