Think Before You Tweet: Crafting a Social Media Policy

Birds of a Feather
Claire Gould, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, USA, Annie Lewis, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, USA

Thinking of creating a social media policy for your museum? Colonial Williamsburg’s department of Education Outreach recently created a social media policy and guiding document to define the purposes and content of official social media channels and to provide guidelines for employees’ personal accounts. In this “how-to” presentation, we will share our process, the challenges we encountered, and the stakeholders we involved in creating these documents. We will also discuss best practices and difficulties as museums move headfirst into the social media age.

Many museums may find themselves on social media but without any official policies defining best practices besides the most basic of acceptable internet use policies. Crafting a social media policy and guiding document is essential to protect both the employees and the organization. It gives the museum a unified voice, consistent message, and ensures the best representation of the organization.

We hope to engender discussion in this session about participants’ social media experiences, questions, concerns, and specific needs, with the goal that our experience going through this process will aid other museums as they develop their social media presences and increase interactivity with their audiences.

Marketing and Social Media: A Guide for Libraries, Archives, and Museums by Christie Koontz and Lorri Mon
Conversations with Visitors: Social Media and Museums by Kirsten Drotner and Kim Christian Schroder (eds.)