Issues in using social media
Social media is a valuable tool for sports organisations. But there can be issues in using social media that can lead to trouble.
The rapid rise in the use of social media has created a need to find more effective ways to manage its use in an ethical and socially responsible manner.
A single piece of content posted to the highly accessible and scalable publishing platforms that are social media, has the potential to go “viral" in a matter of minutes.
This can be great for spreading valuable messages and positive stories that benefit you and your organisation. Favourable content that is able to leverage the viral nature of social media can assist your organisation in attracting and retaining members, as well as providing a better experience for all involved.
If used effectively, social media can assist your organisation in developing deeper engagement within its community, resulting in more connected and enriched relationships. There’s no question that social media is a great tool for sport in all sorts of ways.
However, the use of social media can also be detrimental to you and/or your organisation if unfavourable messages or stories are communicated. It only takes a slip of the keyboard or a momentary lack of common sense and that one small mistake can escalate quickly into a full-blown social media crisis.
Unfortunately, social media is sometimes used by individuals as a platform for communicating messages of discrimination, defamation, harassment and bullying. This can be further amplified due to the viral nature of social media. These activities can bring both individuals and organisations into disrepute.
Member protection, child protection, confidentiality and copyright breaches can also occur via social media. This tends to occur as a result of a lack of understanding by the individuals posting the offending content.
However, ignorance is no excuse.
In an attempt to avoid these issues and incidents your organisation can provide guidelines and rules, under a social media policy, around acceptable and appropriate social media use, as well as educating your stakeholders to increase understanding of what the social media policy entails.
A good social media policy will help reduce the number of issues and incidents that arise via social media that could harm you and/or your organisation. It will also help you deal with issues should they occur.