When I owned my studio, there were no social media.
I didn’t have to worry about who my teachers were ‘friends’ with, what my students were posting, or what reviews were being left.
In many ways, I’m glad – because today I see studio owners struggling to find the right protocol to protect their studio, their staff and their brand on social media.
Having a social media policy in place for your team is so important so that you can set and manage your expectations right from the start of your time together. But here’s the million dollar question:
What should you include in your social media staff policy?
There are 3 main areas you need to cover in your studio’s social media policy:
Protecting your team and your students
Make it clear to your staff that their anonymity on Social Media is never guaranteed and to exercise particular caution when posts, images or videos identify children in their care.
You may choose to discourage parents/students and teachers from becoming ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ on Social Media unless there is an existing relationship so that you can respect and monitor personal boundaries.
Also consider that photos or videos taken from performances or rehearsals should not be posted online without direct permission from you, or your dancers’ parents. Identifying information – including names, ages or location – should definitely be removed when your studio or your staff are posting on Social Media.
Protecting your brand and reputation
Remind your team that their behaviour on Social Media remains in keeping with your code of conduct. Any comments or posts that may be obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, discriminatory or hateful will need to be addressed.
Protecting your confidentiality
If your staff choose to identify themselves as an employee, they need to do so respectfully and adhere to your privacy and confidentiality policy. Any business information (eg, fees, scheduling, placements or performance opportunities) should only be communicated via Social Media when you approve it.
If you can incorporate these 3 key areas into your policy you’ll have a solid foundation for setting clear and reasonable expectations around social media so you can prevent any ‘ugly conversations’ before they even need to take place.
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