Social media header 

Club committees that are prepared and proactive can effectively manage social media issues. Social media issues can arise on a few different fronts. This may include behaviour on social media sites that you manage, or member behaviour on other social media sites, or even behaviour by others, directed at your club/members.

Here’s some advice for social media management at your club:

1. Policies and rules

All clubs need policies in place to manage issues that arise on social media. The purpose is to set out how you expect members to behave and how you will deal with issues that may arise. They also provide a framework on how to use social media and how to deal with issues.

You can either develop a specific policy, such as a social media policy, or you may have existing policies that cover these areas such as:

  • Member Protection Policy (MPP);
  • Codes of Conduct;
  • Child Protection Policy;
  • Photography and image policy;
  • Social media policy, and
  • Disciplinary rules and processes, as set out on club/sport rules.

In the first instance, check with you state/national/peak body for guidance.   Existing club rules, like the MPP, should cover member behaviour on social media. For example, a derogatory remark made on field by a member to an official, would be dealt with the same way if that remark was made by the member on Facebook, directed at the official.

If your sport doesn’t have policies in this area, use the Play by the Rules Member Protection Policy template and Social Media Policy template

Laws can also apply in this area. Read more on the Office of the eSafety Commissioner's website. 

2. Monitoring

Appoint someone at your club to monitor the social media sites your club is responsible for. You’ll also need a contact person for members who have a concern.  Both these roles can be set out in your policy.  Social media and technology is rapidly changing, so make sure you appoint people in this area who actively use social media and are across the trends.

3. Reporting and response

It is important clubs have a clear reporting process, respond to issues promptly and have offensive material removed. How you do this can be set out in your policy. Here are a few important considerations:

  • Removing and/or reporting material - as a first step, clubs can:
    • Remove material, where you manage the site (e.g., delete the post);
    • Request the member remove it, when on another site (eg. member posts video to You Tube), and
    • Request another organisation/site owner remove the material (eg. non-member posts negative remarks about your club to another clubs Facebook page)

For serious issues of cyber bullying of persons under the age of 18 years or instances of image based abuse, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in Australia can also help, with advice on how to report incidents to social media service or the Offices’ complaints service itself.

Illegal activity or matters of serious concern, such as child protection, should be reported to the relevant authorities immediately. See our Quick Reference Guide for contacts in each state/territory.

Documentation of the issue and follow up must be undertaken by the club as part of its record keeping system.

4. Education

Clubs should be proactive and let members know what behaviour you expect on social media. Promote policies and contact people:

  • Brief volunteers including committee, coaches and others in meetings and inductions;
  • Explain your club policy and how to contact children and young people - in a child-friendly way. This might include face-to-face talks during the season, or child-friendly signs at your venue (e.g., simple tick and cross for examples of good and bad social media use);
  • Make information available on your website, newsletters, handbooks, information nights and so on, and
  • Bring policies to life in an interesting way – put a few points in your weekly newsletters, or emails about expected standards for social media use at your club.

Use our Social Media tips sections to help with information for club members:

More help

Play by the Rules