This guide serves as the main resource on social media best practices for EO staff, member leaders, chapter administrators, regional council leaders, chapter directors, MCCs, external agencies, contractors and anyone who creates, manages or administers a social media account for an EO branded region, chapter, committee, product or programme.
Social media is a valuable tool for disseminating information and creating a thriving online community. Profiles on all social media platforms reflect the EO brand and its membership and should therefore be brand aligned. These guidelines set the tone for communicating the EO brand and ensuring brand alignment across all channels, and serve as a minimum standard for all EO chapters, products, and programmes. EO chapters may develop further guidelines and policies applicable to their specific membership base and region.
When posting to an EO branded social media channel, whether it be a chapter, region or event page, you represent EO. Freedom of speech must be exercised responsibly. These standards provide a roadmap for constructive, respectful and productive use of EO social networking sites.
- Be respectful. Respect your audience, colleagues and members. Take care not to engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable in the workplace.
- Get your facts straight. Ensure that you are providing accurate information so that you are not misrepresenting EO. Double check captions, information displayed in visual graphics and content included in articles shared to ensure accuracy of information.
- Avoid copyright issues. Only post content that EO owns or has permission to post. When sharing content with permission, always cite the source by listing the name, tagging the owner’s social media account, or linking to the original website.
- Be mindful of your public image. Consider the image you want to portray to the public. Be mindful that what you post may be viewed by the public, members, colleagues and may stay public for a long time.
- Use your best judgment Remember there may be consequences to what you post, so consider your content carefully. If you are about to post something that makes you the slightest bit uncomfortable, review these guidelines, think about whether to post the material or refer to an EO staff member.
Standards for appropriate content and conversation
Although online conversations on social media sites are often casual, they must remain professional and respectful. Comments on EO official pages need to be monitored to ensure compliance with the social networking guidelines. Inappropriate comments should be removed. Content that should be deleted includes:
- Any post that violates EO’s non-solicitation policy
- Libelous, slanderous, inflammatory or defamatory comments
- Vulgar, racist or sexist slurs
- Comments pertaining to violence
- Posts with incorrect spelling or incorrect information
- Information that violates EO member or staff privacy
- Comments that are not respectful
- Comments that are not relevant to the topic
- Comments or posts that portray EO in an unfavorable or inappropriate light
- A commenter who is misrepresenting himself/herself
- A single person who is dominating the conversation
- Members or individuals who are violating EO’s non- solicitation policy
*If content is produced or distributed that violates EO’s non-solicitation policies or bylaws, it is imperative that you alert the Governance Committee as soon as possible.
Posting about EO on Your Personal Social Media Accounts
Please remember that if EO is associated with your name anywhere, what you post to social media can be associated back to EO. Consider putting a disclaimer in your personal social media biography that says “opinions are my own.”
EO staff, chapter staff and members who are representing EO on social media should be aware that opinions they express can reflect back on the organization. Consider that anything you post on social media might be shared and reposted elsewhere, even on social media channels such as Facebook where one’s personal privacy might be expected.
Photos posted on social media pages should favourably portray EO and the persons depicted in the photos. The following guidelines should be used when posting photos:
- Be mindful of the types of photos you are posting and refrain from photos that may misrepresent the organization or any members visible in the photo.
- Photos of public events can be posted on social networking sites, but they must be appropriate. As a guideline, they should be photos that could be posted on EO’s official website. Examples of photos to avoid include, but are not limited to: photos involving alcohol, nudity and/or graphic scenes.
- If posting photos from EO events, make sure disclaimers are shared with event attendees that their image may be used publicly.
- Photos of children should not be posted without documented consent from their parents, except photos taken at public events. Even then, use great caution when posting photos of young children.
- If a member or staffer contacts EO with concern over a posting, please use discretion and remove the photo or post.
- Understand image copyright rules. You should always have permission and copyright ownership of images that you post on social media. Always purchase stock photography that reflects EO’s brand when in doubt or ask for permission when reposting photos.
- Never “borrow” images from a Google search.
- Purchase stock photography that appropriately reflects EO’s brand. When purchasing stock photos, you often have the choice of license for the image. Make sure the license you choose permits how you plan to use the image.
- Refrain from using low res or blurry images in your graphics, as well as images that are contorted in nature, or aggressively cropped.
Social media channels
With so many social media outlets available today, it can be overwhelming to decide which platforms to focus on. When deciding what networks your chapter or region should have a presence on, simply consider using the outlets that showcase your chapter in the most effective way possible and utilize the networks where you’ll reach your target audience most effectively. Before we dive deep into each social platform, let’s review the pros and cons of each:
Overview of commonly used social media channels
Growing your page
Is your chapter or region creating a new social media channel? After creating your networks using these guidelines, implement some of these best practices to grow your following.
- Promote your social media channels at your events. Display your social media handles and channels on signage, in stage displays, in the event app and mention the accounts in speeches.
- Include links to your social media channels in all digital communications (website, email newsletters, flyers, etc.).
- Run a small paid ad “like” campaign on Facebook to reach targeted demographics and boost the number of likes (a.k.a. followers).
- Invite your peers to like and follow your accounts.
- Bring your offline advocates online. Ask your peers and fellow chapter members to follow you and retweet and/or share your content. If you partner with other organizations or groups, arrange to promote each other’s handles.
- Be available. Don’t promote your own content and not be available to respond to questions and comments. If you are consistently posting content, you should also consistently interact with your audience.
- Obey the Law of Reciprocity. Do not expect your audience to engage with your content if you are not doing the same for them.
- Ask for retweets. When someone retweets your content, they’re sharing your business with their networks and your reach grows exponentially. Be direct, and ask your followers for their support.
- Search keywords and hashtags that relate to entrepreneurship and your audience. Use them to enter into conversations and get noticed, and follow influencers who can help spread the word about your business. Encourage followers to use your own hashtag for an opportunity to be shared on your own account.
- “Newsjack.” Be aware of hot or trending topics in the news and leverage them in content that you’re posting as a means to increase engagement from users who are following those topics.
- Tap into your existing base. Upload your chapter member email contacts and let your members know you’re ready to have a conversation by following them on Twitter or Instagram.