Who's in Charge of Facebook at Your Organization?

06.01.2011By


If you’re like most nonprofits, you probably have a presence on Facebook. And if you’re using Facebook strategically, you might have asked yourself this question:

Who should be in charge of Facebook community management?

It makes sense to ask this question. After all, you have someone who’s in charge of grant writing, someone who’s in charge of event marketing, and someone who’s in charge of email marketing.

So why not put one person in charge of Facebook?

The reason why is that Facebook is different than these other channels in one very important way:

Many people in your organization use Facebook

Imagine if all of your employees were in charge of email marketing, and had access to all of your donor email? Yeah – very bad idea.

Everyone’s job description has changed

Of course you want to have someone own Facebook strategy. But because all staffers swim alongside your constituents in Facebook’s waters, implementing a policy is critical.

This will allow all employees understand what’s appropriate, what’s not, and what’s encouraged.

A policy should be a concise set to easy to understand “playbook” that encourage your evangelists, not freak them out.

Nine critical components of a social media policy

A social media policy should include these components:

  1. A stated purpose for why the org uses social media.
  2. Clear goals for what the org wants to get from these channels.
  3. Praise for the employee’s alignment with the orgs mission and why their voice is of utmost importance.
  4. A reminder that employees are responsible for all that they post online, and that exercising good judgment is important for everyone.
  5. A reminder that each employee has different comfort levels for how public or private they want to be online, and that all boundaries should be respected.
  6. A statement around copyrights and fair use, so that employees don’t unknowingly increase the orgs liabilities.
  7. A focus on creating value and positivity online, and that it’s important that each staff member has an attitude to adding value in whatever conversations they participate in.
  8. A list of the key players in the orgs online voice (bloggers, Facebook admins, Twitter managers and other community managers).
  9. Clear procedures for handling “bad press”, emergencies and other unexpected situations.

If you’re looking for some good examples of social media policies, check out this list.

Does your org have a social media policy?

  • Currently, the Social Media Manager is in charge of Facebook at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, as well as a moderator on all the Affiliate Facebook Pages to ensure the volunteers are posting per the guidelines we have created for them.

    We just finished our social media policy and it addresses eight of the nine components. The ninth component was not addressed and we’ll have to go back and insert that. It’s so important to have a process for handling “bad press.”

    Thanks John!

  • Anonymous

    Currently, the Social Media Manager is in charge of Facebook at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, as well as a moderator on all the Affiliate Facebook Pages to ensure the volunteers are posting per the guidelines we have created for them. nnWe just finished our social media policy and it addresses eight of the nine components. The ninth component was not addressed and we’ll have to go back and insert that. It’s so important to have a process for handling “bad press.”nnThanks John!

  • Mickey Gomez

    We’re pretty small, so I’m heading up the Facebook community management at our nonprofit.  Having said that, I’ve granted administrative rights to two additional key staff members in case there’s a need to get information out quickly (especially in disaster) and I’m nowhere to be found (or, as I like to say, trapped under something heavy). 

    I think it’s important that the person “in charge” of the Facebook community strategy comply with the established social media policy (great summary points, John!) and NOT be micromanaged.  It’s also critical that the nonprofit leadership monitors the channels somehow – if I had a quarter for every nonprofit that nonchalantly hands this off to a volunteer without knowing how to monitor it, I’m sad to say I’d have a decent pile of money. 

    The person should also be interested in Facebook and willing to learn the changes as they happen in order to best adjust the strategy as needed.  This should absolutely NOT be a default position automatically lumped into marketing or IT because it “makes sense there”.

    My two cents. Thanks, John – another great post!

    • Mickey – I love how you said they should be “interested in Facebook”. That is so important! I’ve they’re interested, they’ll be able to speak the native language of Facebook. Good point!

      • I agree too. Whomever is in charge of Facebook should have an interest and be passionate about learning more. Social media and Facebook is a rapidly changing landscape.

  • We’re pretty small, so I’m heading up the Facebook community management at our nonprofit.u00a0 Having said that, I’ve granted administrative rights to two additional key staff members in case there’s a need to get information out quickly (especially in disaster) and I’m nowhere to be found (or, as I like to say, trapped under something heavy).u00a0 nnI think it’s important that the person “in charge” of the Facebook community strategy comply with the established social media policy (great summary points, John!) and NOT be micromanaged.u00a0 It’s also critical that the nonprofit leadership monitors the channels somehow – if I had a quarter for every nonprofit that nonchalantly hands this off to a volunteer without knowing how to monitor it, I’m sad to say I’d have a decent pile of money.u00a0 nnThe person should also be interested in Facebook and willing to learn the changes as they happen in order to best adjust the strategy as needed.u00a0 This should absolutely NOT be a default position automatically lumped into marketing or IT because it “makes sense there”. nnMy two cents. Thanks, John – another great post!

    • Mickey – I love how you said they should be “interested in Facebook”. That is so important! I’ve they’re interested, they’ll be able to speak the native language of Facebook. Good point!

    • Mickey – I love how you said they should be “interested in Facebook”. That is so important! I’ve they’re interested, they’ll be able to speak the native language of Facebook. Good point!

      • Anonymous

        I agree too. Whomever is in charge of Facebook should have an interest and be passionate about learning more. Social media and Facebook is a rapidly changing landscape.