Social media encompasses a broad sweep of online tools and activity, such as Blogger, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and numerous other services. We recognize that many of you already participate in social media. AHCA/NCAL is engaging in many of these arenas, as well. The following are policies and guidelines for staff, members, and friends of AHCA/NCAL on participating in social media. Most of it is common sense, but we can all use some guidance or reminders from time to time. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. As social media evolves, so may these guidelines – be sure to check back for updates.
Why Social Media?
Social Media tools are becoming an increasingly common means of communication. Emerging social media platforms are changing the way our association engages with members, colleagues, and the world at large. As an association, we believe emerging social media platforms can help us build a stronger, more successful long term care community.
- Only staff authorized to do so may speak on behalf of AHCA/NCAL.
- Only members of the Knowledge Management Web staff may set up official presences on behalf of AHCA/NCAL on social networks (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.).
- You may not share information that is confidential and proprietary about the association.
Guidelines for Participating in Social Media
Be Respectful. Communicate clearly and courteously. Before hitting send or submit, take a moment to reflect on how what you have written will be perceived by its audience. If someone posts something with which you disagree, do not escalate the conversation to an argument. Hard as it may be to believe, others might not always share your point of view. Accept and respect that – you may learn something.
Be Honest. Respect the intellectual property of others, post only what you have the rights to post. When in doubt, ask permission.
Be Discrete. Social Media is not the place for posting confidential, proprietary, or any information that you would not be comfortable seeing on the front page of the New York Times. Online postings can have a lengthy half-life – assume that what you post will be around for a long time. Be careful to protect your privacy. Personal and professional lives often become blurred on social media – be thoughtful about how you present yourself online.
Be Authentic. Don’t try to hide your affiliation with AHCA/NCAL, especially if you’re addressing a topic related to long term care. On the flip side, don’t represent yourself as an official spokesperson for AHCA/NCAL if you are not.
Be Helpful. Make your posts meaningful – think of how they could benefit others. Add value whenever possible. If someone has a question you can answer, by all means do so. Conversely, don’t try to respond if you don’t know the answer. If you see misrepresentations made about AHCA/NCAL, you should inform an authorized AHCA/NCAL spokesperson and they will decide what, if any, response will be taken.
Be Engaging. Effective use of social media tools requires listening and responding. If you’re not willing to engage in the conversation, reconsider whether you should delve into social media.
Respect Association Commitments. Unless specifically assigned, social media activities should not interfere with regular work commitments.