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SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY

A guide for volunteers and trustees on using social media to promote the work of Martlesham Brass and in a personal capacity

Introduction

What is social media?

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.

Why do we use social media?

Social media is used in communicating Martlesham Brass's work and activities. It is used to engage with our audience, participate in relevant conversations and raise the profile of Martlesham Brass's work.

Why do we need a social media policy?

The difference between a personal and professional opinion can be blurred on social media, particularly if you're discussing issues relating to Martlesham Brass'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 any device. Before engaging in social media activity, volunteers and trustees must read this policy.

Setting out the social media policy

This policy sets out guidelines on how social media should be used to support the delivery and promotion of Martlesham Brass. It sets out what you need to be aware of when interacting in these spaces and is designed to help volunteers and trustees support and expand our social media channels, while protecting the charity and its reputation and preventing any legal issues.

Point of contact for social media

Our admin level volunteers (Liz Howard, Liz Benyon and Adam Cable) are 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 admin level volunteers. No other volunteers and trustees member can post content on Martlesham Brass's official channels without the permission of the admin level volunteers

Which social media channels do we use?

Martlesham Brass uses Facebook. Martlesham Brass has a Facebook account which it uses to share news with supporters and to encourage people to become involved in our work.

Guidelines

Using Martlesham Brass's social media channels appropriate conduct

1. Admin level volunteers are responsible for setting up and managing Martlesham Brass's social media channels.

2. Be an ambassador for our brand. Volunteers and trustees should ensure they reflect Martlesham Brass values in what they post and use our tone of voice. Our brand guidelines set out our tone of voice that all volunteers and trustees should refer to when posting content on Martlesham Brass's social media channels.

3. Make sure that all social media content has a purpose and a benefit for Martlesham Brass, and accurately reflects Martlesham Brass's agreed position.

4. Bring value to our audience(s). Answer their questions, help and engage with them.

5. Take care with the presentation of content. Make sure that there are no typos, misspellings or grammatical errors. Also check the quality of images.

6. Always pause and think before posting. That said, reply to comments in a timely manner, when a response is appropriate.

7. If volunteers and trustees outside of admin level volunteers wish to contribute content for social media, whether non-paid for or paid for advertising, they should speak to the admin level volunteers about this.

8. Volunteers and trustees shouldn't post content about supporters or service users without their express permission. If volunteers and trustees 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 Martlesham Brass. If using interviews, videos or photos that clearly identify a child or young person, volunteers and trustees must ensure they have the consent of a parent or guardian before using them on social media.

9. Always check facts. Volunteers and trustees 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.

10. 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.

11. Volunteers and trustees should refrain from offering personal opinions via Martlesham Brass's social media accounts, either directly by commenting or indirectly by 'liking', 'sharing' or 'retweeting'. If you are in doubt about Martlesham Brass's position on a particular issue, please speak to admin level volunteers.

12. It is vital that Martlesham Brass does not encourage others to risk their personal safety or that of others, to gather materials. For example, a video of a stunt.

13. Volunteers and trustees 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.

14. Volunteers and trustees should not set up other Facebook groups or pages, Twitter accounts or any other social media channels on behalf of Martlesham Brass. This could confuse messaging and brand awareness. By having official social media accounts in place, the admin level volunteers can ensure consistency of the brand and focus on building a strong following.

15. Martlesham Brass 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.

16. If a complaint is made on Martlesham Brass's social media channels, volunteers and trustees should seek advice from the Main Committee Chair before responding. If they are not available, then volunteers and trustees should speak to the Principle Bandleader

17. 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 admin level volunteers regularly monitor our social media spaces for mentions of Martlesham Brass 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 admin level volunteers will address this under the guidance of the Main Committee

If any volunteers and trustees outside of the admin level volunteers become aware of any comments online that they think have the potential to escalate into a crisis, whether on Martlesham Brass's social media channels or elsewhere, they should speak to the admin level volunteers 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. Martlesham Brass volunteers and trustees are expected to behave appropriately, and in ways that are consistent with Martlesham Brass's values and policies, both online and in real life.

1. Be aware that any information you make public could affect how people perceive Martlesham Brass. You must make it clear when you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of Martlesham Brass. If you are using your personal social media accounts to promote and talk about Martlesham Brass's work, you must use a disclaimer such as: "The views expressed on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent Martlesham Brass's positions, policies or opinions."

2. Volunteers and trustees who have a personal blog or website which indicates in any way that they volunteer at Martlesham Brass should discuss any potential conflicts of interest with the admin level volunteers. Similarly, volunteers and trustees who want to start blogging and wish to say that they volunteer for Martlesham Brass should discuss any potential conflicts of interest with the admin level volunteers.

3. Use common sense and good judgement. Be aware of your association with Martlesham Brass and ensure your profile and related content is consistent with how you wish to present yourself to the general public.

7. If a volunteers or trustee is contacted by the press about their social media posts that relate to Martlesham Brass, they should talk to the admin level volunteers immediately and under no circumstances respond directly.

8. Martlesham Brass 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 Martlesham Brass, volunteers and trustees are expected to hold Martlesham Brass's position of neutrality. Volunteers and trustees who are politically active in their spare time need to be clear in separating their personal political identity from Martlesham Brass, and understand and avoid potential conflicts of interest.

9. Never use Martlesham Brass's logos or trademarks unless approved to do so. Permission to use logos should be requested from the admin level volunteers

10. Always protect yourself and the charity. Be careful with your privacy online and be cautious when sharing personal information. What you 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 volunteers and trustees 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 Martlesham Brass and the work we do. Where appropriate and using the guidelines within this policy, we encourage volunteers and trustees 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 admin level volunteers who will respond as appropriate.

Further guidelines

Libel

Libel is when a false written statement that is damaging to a person's reputation is published online or in print. Whether volunteers and trustees are posting content on social media as part of their job or in a personal capacity, they should not bring Martlesham Brass into disrepute by making defamatory comments about individuals or other organisations or groups.

Copyright law

It is critical that all volunteers and trustees 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.

Confidentiality

Any communications that volunteers and trustees make in a personal capacity must not breach confidentiality. For example, information meant for internal use only or information that Martlesham Brass is not ready to disclose yet. For example, a news story that is embargoed for a particular date.

Discrimination and harassment

Volunteers and trustees should not post content that could be considered discriminatory against, or bullying or harassment of, any individual, on either an official Martlesham Brass 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

Lobbying Act

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.

Use of social media in the recruitment process

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 Martlesham Brass's equal opportunities policy.

Protection and intervention

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 volunteers and trustees member considers that a person/people is/are at risk of harm, they should report this to the safeguarding officer immediately.

Under 18s and vulnerable people

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, volunteers and trustees should ensure the online relationship with Martlesham Brass follows the same rules as the offline 'real-life' relationship. Volunteers and trustees 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. Volunteers and trustees should also ensure that the site itself is suitable for the young person and Martlesham Brass content and other content is appropriate for them. Please refer to our safeguarding policy

Responsibilities and beach of policy

Everyone is responsible for their own compliance with this policy. Participation in social media on behalf of Martlesham Brass is not a right but an opportunity, so it must be treated seriously and with respect. For volunteers and trustees, breaches of policy may incur disciplinary action, depending on the severity of the issue. Please refer to our Constitution for further information on disciplinary procedures. Volunteers and trustees who are unsure about whether something they propose to do on social media might breach this policy, should seek advice from the Chairman.