Social Networking Policy

Download the Social Networking Policy  (PDF 374.1 KB)

Authority

State Librarian and CEO

Policy Statement

Social media is a broad term that covers a variety of evolving channels. Social media is a tool that enhances communication, facilitates learning, and builds connected online communities through the sharing of information and content. Social media can also reach market segments and groups of the community not easily reached by other channels.

State Library of Queensland is committed to embracing digital media channels (including social media) for service delivery, promotion, communications, advertising, research, policy development and implementation, and engagement with people and communities. Social media presents a great opportunity for State Library to grow exposure with people near and far, be a part of the online conversation, and strengthen our brand.

Scope

This policy describes different kinds of social media platforms, differentiating between social networking platforms and social content sharing platforms (definitions in section 6 below). This policy covers the official use of State Library social networking platforms. The way we use all social networking platforms is covered in the Digital Marketing Strategy and supported by the Engagement Framework.

This policy applies to all employees and covers all publicly available, officially established social networking accounts. This policy covers, but is not limited to, current social networking platforms that are hosted internally and externally, and is intended to cover social networking platforms as they develop into the future.

This policy also addresses professional and personal use of social media by employees.

Purpose

This document details State Library’s policy regarding the appropriate use of social networking platforms as a tool for promoting State Library and our collections, services and offers, participating in online conversations, and where appropriate engaging with people and communities.

This policy establishes a clear set of requirements to ensure the use of social networking platforms by State Library staff, in whatever capacity, is authorised and accountable.

As Queensland Government employees, all staff are required to comply with:

This policy is intended to be read in conjunction with the Principles for the official use of social media networks and emerging social media and the Personal use of social media guideline, both from the Queensland Government Chief Information Office. Additional policies and guidelines support the interpretation and use of this policy (see section 11 for a full list of references).

Through the implementation of this policy, we can expect to:

  • Continue to develop existing online communities, locally and internationally
  • Reach and engage with people or segments of the community who may otherwise be hard to reach or engage with through other channels
  • Use social networking to assist in meeting strategic objectives, including collection usage and visitation, both onsite and online
  • Articulate governance on the use of social networking at State Library
  • To share the work associated with social networking posting and monitoring across the organisation
  • Ensure understanding of how social networking may complement existing communication, promotion and engagement activities.

Definitions

In addition to the definitions listed in Appendix A of Principles for the official use of social media networks and emerging social media, the following definitions assist with interpretation of this policy in the State Library context.

WordDefinition
Authorised user An employee who, in relation to their role, is granted access to publish to and communicate with people online on behalf of State Library through an official State Library account.
ModerationModeration involves a nominated staff member reviewing all comments and tags before they become visible to other users.
MonitoringMonitoring involves a nominated authorised user reviewing all user comments and tags after they become visible to other users. Comments and tags are monitored to ensure that we can respond and engage with the online community, and remove any inappropriate content.
Official use Any use of an official State Library account in an official capacity by an authorised user.
Official State Library account A social media profile that is being used as an approved corporate channel. Employees will become approved users of these channels in order to post to them on behalf of the organisation. State Library has a main corporate account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn (primary official accounts). These primary accounts may be supported by additional official accounts that serve specific communities (secondary official accounts).
Personal use The private or individual use of social media by an employee via an account that is not used for professional purposes and is not connected to, but may include State Library-related or industry-related topics or issues. Personal use usually occurs in an employee’s private non-work time, though limited personal use may take place in the workplace in accordance with the Personal use of social media guideline (Queensland Government Chief Information Office). An employee may be identifiable as a staff member even in their personal use of social media.
Post Any content created or shared on social media.
Professional use The use of social media by an employee in a professional context. This may include when the purpose of the account has a connection to State Library or industry-related topics or issues, or when an employee uses social media to publicly promote the activities or services of State Library. Professional use may occur in an employee’s private non-work time, though limited professional use may take place in the workplace in accordance with the Personal use of social media guideline (Queensland Government Chief Information Office).
Social content sharing platforms Social channels primarily used to upload, store, curate or share long-form information or content (often visual or audio), sometimes through blogging. Examples: Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Historypin, Pinterest, Soundcloud, Tumblr, wikis, and blogs. These platforms are used for sharing collection items or collection-related content (e.g. digital stories, collection films) to appeal to a broad online community.
Social media An umbrella term covering a range of platforms, websites, technology, applications and tools that enable active and participatory publishing — creating and sharing of content — and interaction between individuals over the internet. Social media can be categorised by relationships, user participation, user-generated content, collaboration, multi-directional conversations, highly accessible and scalable publishing, 24/7/365 operation and availability. Some social media platforms are hosted internally, including wikis and blogs. Other social media platforms are hosted externally, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, Google+, Flickr, Historypin, Vimeo and YouTube.
Social networking platforms Social channels used for building relationships with other users. Examples: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, and Snapchat. These platforms are used for connecting and engaging with people and communities.

Social networking at State Library

Corporate use of social networking

State Library uses official social networking accounts to achieve a range of strategic goals, including to:

  • Provide pathways to access and discover our collections
  • Communicate, promote and advertise State Library and its services, collections and programs
  • Provide customer service
  • Share information online; for example, share our visitors’ stories and experiences
  • Showcase staff expertise
  • Participate in local, national and international conversation about matters relating to State Library or its collections, programs and services, or the library industry
  • Support community engagement activities
  • Support audience development activities
  • Share and advocate for the work of Queensland public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres (local government)
  • Promote our achievements to community and stakeholders including partners, researchers, universities, and local, state and federal government.

The use of social networking should be considered in conjunction with the Engagement Framework and Digital Marketing Strategy, and should reflect our brand, style and personality.

Guiding principles for the use of social networking

State Library’s approach to official social networking accounts is underpinned by the principles outlined in section 2 of the Principles for the official use of social media networks and emerging social media.

State Library’s approach to personal and professional use of social networking is underpinned by the principles outlined in section 3 of the Personal use of social media guideline.

Responsible branch for official State Library social networking accounts

The Marketing and Communications branch oversees all official State Library social networking accounts. However, the day-to-day coordination of an account may be delegated to other teams within the organisation.

Marketing and Communications manages access by authorised users to all official State Library social networking accounts. A central register of official State Library social networking accounts will be maintained by the Manager, Marketing and Communications. The register describes the purpose of each account, and includes a list of all authorised users. If an authorised user is ceasing their employment with the organisation, they must inform Marketing and Communications so the register can be updated. The register will be reviewed every six months to ensure that appropriate staff should continue to be authorised users.

Reporting and analytics

Marketing and Communications is responsible for conducting analysis and sharing monthly and ad hoc reports to relevant teams across all social networking accounts.  This will enable analysis and will assist the ongoing use of social networking accounts and provide insight into how the accounts deliver on stated objectives.

Approved system

As per section 2.2.6 of the Principles for the official use of social media networks and emerging social media, direct access to State Government social media accounts should be restricted to a very limited number of skilled social media officers, and all other activity should be conducted through a social media management tool.

All authorised users (including staff in the Marketing and Communications branch) will use the approved social media scheduling and publishing system to post content on official social networking accounts. Where particular tasks on social networking platforms cannot be performed through the approved system, authorised users must follow the procedures outlined in the Social Networking Guidelines.

The Marketing and Communications branch will determine the system that best meets the organisation’s requirements to coordinate official social networking accounts, considering functionality and ease of use, and is responsible for managing access to the system by authorised users.

Establishing a new State Library social networking account

A new account may be established for the following reasons:

  • To meet people where they are and  participate in an ongoing conversation regarding a variety of topics, including but not limited to collections, public programs, activities, services, library advocacy
  • To reach and develop diverse audiences
  • To facilitate engagement with people and communities

The Executive Management Team (EMT) must approve the creation of a new social networking account, as per the process detailed in the Social Networking Guidelines.

The establishment of a new social networking account will take a ‘one library’ approach, where all teams are given the opportunity to contribute.

The establishment of a new social networking account requires a firm commitment from staff to resource the maintenance of the channel through regular monitoring, ongoing interaction with online communities, and consistent contributions of new content, in line with the Digital Marketing Strategy and Social Networking Guidelines.

Decommissioning a State Library social networking account

An official social networking account may be decommissioned and content removed (if possible):

  • If an evaluation of the metrics and KPIs reveals the performance of the account does not warrant the investment of staff time in maintaining the profile
  • If staff capacity changes and the workload associated with maintaining and monitoring the account cannot be assumed
  • If the profile is dormant; that is, no new content has been added to the service after a period of three months
  • Where there is no longer a need for a particular account, for example because it has been superseded by a new service, or due to changes in our strategic direction or approach.

EMT will determine if an account should be closed. The Communications Officer will close any official social networking accounts being retired.

In each case, the account will not be decommissioned or archived until appropriate consultation has taken place. Before an account is decommissioned, reasonable efforts must be made to transition the existing community to a similar State Library channel as per section 2.2.8 of the Principles for the official use of social media networks and emerging social media.

If possible, the account should be archived before it is decommissioned.

Community-contributed content

By definition, social media is about a conversation. Public commentary, opinion and reaction to online content published by State Library is welcome and is consistent with the nature of social media, as well as with our commitment to facilitating knowledge sharing and engaging with community.

As per section 2.2.4 of the Principles for the official use of social media networks and emerging social media, online communities must adhere to the conditions listed in State Library’s Comments Policy. Each official social networking account should include a link to the Comments Policy.

Some commentary on social networks will require a response from State Library. Authorised users should follow the process for responding that is detailed in the Social Networking Guidelines.

Removal of community-contributed content

We will monitor (not moderate) comments made on official social networking accounts. Marketing and Communications is responsible for coordinating the removal of content posted on official social networking accounts that contravenes the Comments Policy.

Official use of social networking platforms

What is official use?

Official use is use of official State Library social networking accounts by authorised users. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • Publishing messages or uploading content (e.g. text, images, video) to an official account
  • Interacting with content posted by State Library or another person or social networking profile on official accounts (e.g. like, favourite, comment, share, reply)
  • Building online networks to reach and connect with target audiences; for example followers, and following others including similar organisations and individuals in the GLAM sector and government.

Authorised users

Authorised users of State Library’s official social networking accounts are approved jointly by the Manager or Director of their branch and the Manager, Marketing and Communications. The process for approval is detailed in the Social Networking Guidelines. A limit on the number of authorised publishers for each account may apply either due to technical or strategic reasons.

State Library employees must undertake training before they become an authorised user. Training details, along with responsibilities of authorised users and guidelines for posting and responding are described in the Social Networking Guidelines.

When publishing content on official accounts, authorised users should adhere to best practice and agreed guidelines for the particular channel, as articulated in the Social Networking Guidelines.

Major announcements, news and detail about State Library projects, partnerships, exhibitions, events, and services should be shared first on primary official accounts, then on relevant secondary official accounts before staff share the information either professionally or personally.

Personal and professional use of social media

State Library acknowledges that employees, acting as private citizens, also use social media for professional and personal purposes.

State Library employees can participate in public discussions on social media in their private capacity, guided by the Personal use of social media guideline from the Queensland Government Chief Information Office and the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service. Staff must be aware that if they are identifiable as employees on social media, the Code of Conduct may apply to their professional or personal social media activity (for example: posts, likes, comments, shares), even when it occurs outside of the workplace.

Employees should also follow the ICT Usage Policy and the Information Security Policy.

Risk management and mitigation

Official State Library social networking accounts represent the public face of the Queensland Government, with approved users representing the organisation in these environments, so State Library must manage the creation of and access to these accounts.

The official use of social networking has the potential to compromise compliance with legislation, particularly in regard to accessibility, privacy and recordkeeping. Content contributed by anyone may infringe upon the rights of others in areas such as defamation, intellectual property, online bullying and harassment, and fraud. Due to the seriousness of these risks and the association with official government business, the official use of social networking must be subject to a risk assessment.

As per section 3.1.2 of the Personal use of social media guideline, some of the risks associated with social networking are detailed and expanded in the table below.

RiskDescription/exampleManagement
Access to approved system by unauthorised users Authorised users may share login details with staff who are not approved. This risk can be managed with clear expectations and responsibilities for authorised users through guidelines and training, as well as regular password updates that get communicated to authorised users only.
Staff productivity Staff may spend work time on social networking platforms. This risk is not unique to social networking and applies to the use of any government-owned ICT facilities and devices. This risk can be managed by implementing the key requirements of the Use of ICT services, facilities and devices policy (IS38) and the supporting Authorised and unauthorised use of ICT services, facilities and devices guideline:
  • Develop and implement clear policies and guidelines relating to the use of government-owned ICT facilities and devices
  • Clearly inform employees what their responsibilities are under the policies and guidelines and the consequences if those policies and guidelines are broken
Clearly inform employees of procedures that will be used to monitor compliance with the policies and guidelines.
Malware and spyware Social networking may pose a greater risk for malware and spyware. This risk is not unique to social networking, and applies to other high traffic sites such as Google. Implementation of information security controls can mitigate this risk. Staff using their personal devices to access official social networking accounts or the approved corporate social networking system must ensure they maintain appropriate internet and phone security, and only connect to secure internet connections.
Bandwidth Some social networking platforms require higher levels of bandwidth. This risk is not unique to social networking and applies also to other streaming media. This risk can be managed by:
  • Assessing the likely level of use and costs and budgeting accordingly
Using bandwidth management technologies to prioritise business traffic.
Reputation/ legal liabilityPublic comments made by employees could be construed as official State Library or Queensland Government statements.This risk can be managed by implementing the key requirements of Use of ICT services, facilities and devices policy (IS38), and section 1.3 of the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service.
Loss of control of published informationInformation published on social networking accounts is bound by the terms of service or technical limitations of that social media platform. It may not be possible to remove content that has been published.This risk can be managed by implementing the key requirements of the Use of ICT services, facilities and devices policy (IS38) and the supporting Authorised and unauthorised use of ICT services, facilities and devices guideline. Further, collection content exposed via social content sharing platformsis a copy of content available via State Library’s catalogue.
Publication of personal or confidential informationAn employee may publish personal information about another or disclose confidential government information on social media.This risk is not unique to social media and can be managed by implementing the key requirements of IS38 and policy requirement 3 of the Information security information standard (IS18:2009), and educating staff on their privacy obligations.
Consistent user experience and interactionsUsing a distributed publishing model for official channels may result in varied style and messaging, risking brand perception by our online networks and online communities.This risk can be managed through ongoing training and support to authorised users, as well as clear guidelines and procedures that employees commit to following.
Lack of control of social media sitesSocial media sites are provided at no cost to community.  The service may change or be shut down with minimum notice or engagement with users.This risk is not unique to social media and applies to other websites and digital media. This risk can be managed by staying aware of industry changes, and being ready to strategically respond. Though the nature of social media platforms are unique, we maintain other channels (e.g. corporate website) which could be used as an alternative to share information.
Advertising on State Library accounts controlled by social media sites may be associated with State Library by usersSocial media sites earn revenue from commercial advertising State Library cannot control.This risk is something that must be accepted with the use of social media. Social networking users are becoming more savvy and understanding of how social media advertising works. Arguably the benefits of the use of social media outweigh this risk.

References

This policy is supported by:

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