Food policy: Know your farmer, know your food.
Social media policy: Know your voice, know your brand.
The staff, board of directors, and anyone affiliated with Central Rivers Farmshed (i.e. long term volunteers) will adhere to the following guidelines in generating, disseminating, and defending brand related information through social media. Please review the following list and return a signed copy to the Executive Director. Thank you for investing your time in this organization’s success!
- The voice
Let’s stick to three voices for Farmshed: fun, inviting, and informative.
At an organization that’s currently trying to recruit members and gain momentum, being fun will serve to entertain subscribers and create interest. Maintaining an inviting tone will ensure that the group is portrayed as welcoming and eager to meet new faces. The informative voice has to do with the mission of the organization (connecting people with their food). Education plays a big role in this quest.
Try to use at least two of these voices in your posts.
- Response rates
Please respond to comments from subscribers, whether positive or negative, within one day. Let’s keep the conversation moving and our voice alive!
- Natural and national disasters
Being affiliated with the agricultural community means that sometimes a flooding event or early frost takes precedent over getting your post done on time. Food producers and those around them are tightly connected to earth’s climate and its often unforeseen circumstances, so we should be too.
In addition, being a community-based group, we should of course be sensitive to state or national crises as well, such as a terrorist attack or the declaration of war. We’re all people here, right? In such an event, our sites will switch to inactive. We will switch to support mode, and be respectful of the public welfare. Content can be revised accordingly.
- Insensitive/Inappropriate posts
Internal (Staff and Volunteer)
If a staff member, board member, or volunteer makes an inappropriate post, it will be removed immediately. The Executive Director or Board Chair should take action to mend any hurt feelings or issues caused by the insensitivity or inaccuracy. If the post has spread, said supervisor would make quick decisions and communicate with followers as soon as possible. Disciplinary action, including possible termination, may result. In the case of a volunteer, their duties will be reassigned or the relationship may end depending on their rapport and status.
If an online community member posts a negative comment about the organization, we will work as a team internally to decide the best course of action on a case-by-case basis. Our primary option is to mend the situation while still online. Our secondary option is to take the comment and conversation offline if necessary (when harassment, swearing, and/or abusive or untruthful language is used).
Please do not share any information we would not like to be publically visible. This includes any yet to be announced partnerships, events, or possible developments, funding concerns or issues, private in person or email conversations, staff changes, etc. Use common sense- and by all means, ask if you are unsure whether or not something is appropriate to share!
- Engaging with other sustainable agriculture organizations
Please! As long as you’re abiding by all the other guidelines outlined here, conversation and interaction with other organizations and agencies is not only allowed, it’s welcomed. We’re here to make connections, so please do so. Share resources and help promote others, in the end it will boost our brand as well.
- The 5 “Ws” of Social Media usage:
- Who – Any internal staff, board, or volunteers at Farmshed who would like to be a part of our online community, as long as they’ve signed this form.
- When – While you’re on Farmshed’s time.
- Where – On one of our frequently used channels (see content marketing strategy).
- Why – To promote the brand. Always keep our mission in mind.
- What – Farmshed related information, news, stories, ideas, connections, and events. Not personal.
Remember, people communicating through a keyboard or screen are still people. Watch for copyright concerns, know your sources and cite facts or ideas, and be responsible for what you say. Be respectful, honest, lawful, and act with integrity. Use your manners and be nice!
- Availability and Visibility
We pledge to you to keep this document available for consultation. It is open for feedback and discussion, as we are all on the same team. This document and its content will be updated regularly (and you will as well), as we would like it to remain pertinent to new developments.
(Note: The author is in no way affiliated with Central Rivers Farmshed. The organization was used as an example.)