As featured in the latest edition of the Clubs Qld Magazine
Social media can be a useful tool for Clubs to promote their premises and the services they have to offer to their members and the wider community. It can be used to track engagement and interest, and help Clubs determine predicted success of events and what their facilities have to offer to their members. However, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the best way to manage the Club’s social media presence on a rapidly changing landscape. Below are some important considerations for the successful management of your club’s social media presence.
Major platforms, such as Facebook or Google, often have specific guidelines about the type of content which can be promoted on its platform. Failing to adhere to such guidelines could result in the Club’s account being suspended, removed or banned.
Social Media Policy
It would be prudent to have in place a social media policy separate from other policies of the Club which details specific social media issues, including how members and staff of the Club can interact with the Club’s content on social media. This could also include parameters regarding social media activity that the Club is willing to be associated with, which in turn would allow the Club some control on how the Club is perceived within the community.
It is also important to ensure that any disciplinary processes under the club’s constitution or by-laws are broad enough to enable to the club to take appropriate action if members are making inappropriate posts on social media. Similarly, you need to have a suitable policy in place to manage social media issues relating to the club’s employees.
Intellectual Property and Monitoring
Before uploading any content, it is important that the Club has considered protection of any intellectual property. This includes logos, slogans or names that are unique to the Club. By registering any trademarks, the Club can better protect its intellectual property before it is published to the world. The Club must also ensure it does not infringe on the intellectual property rights of other entities through its content.
The above can be better regulated by implementing internal procedures for monitoring and checking of content before and after it is published online. In addition to monitoring the Club’s content, monitoring engagement with the Club’s content on social media platforms can assist with identifying and removing any third party content that could be breaching the Club’s values or any laws.
Social media can be unpredictable and even with the implementation of the above, issues may rise that are beyond the Club’s control. To best protect its reputation, a Club should have guidelines in place that include a process for management of such situations, including how to deal with negative or offensive comments, complaints, and online attacks. In dealing with such issues, the Club should gather as much information as possible before taking public action in order to avoid hasty decisions which could add fuel to the fire.