Facebook Use Policy
This policy is intended to be a component of a larger, comprehensive social media policy.
- Facebook Profile – A personal account for any individual. One person manages this account. Privacy can be controlled by the user.
- Facebook Page – A profile for an organization or public figure. A group of people can manage a page from their personal accounts. All content is public. Posting ability can be public or admin only, but anyone can comment on an existing post.
- Public – Content the admin posts appears to come from the organization. Others can post on the page, but they appear in a running feed contained in a separate box.
- Admin Only – Only admin can post content, which appears to come from the organization.
- Facebook Group – A virtual “bulletin board” where a group of people can have a conversation. People interact with the group using their personal accounts. Privacy can be Open, Closed, or Secret:
- Open – Anyone can see the group and content, join the group, and contribute to the group.
- Closed – Anyone can see that the group exists, but only members can see the content and contribute. To join, one must make a request and have their request approved by an administrator.
- Secret – Only members can see that the group exits. All people must be invited by a member to join the group.
- Wall – Where content is shared. Each profile and page has a wall.
- Post – Shared content. Content can be created or curated.
- Created Content – Content generated.
- Curated Content – Content found and shared.
- Newsfeed – A running list of stories compiled from the various people one is friends with and pages one likes (follows). The stories shown are based on an algorithm that takes into account how much you like certain content and how much other people liked the same content.
- Meme – A unit of culture that dynamically changes with imitation and iterations. Examples include a popular picture, video, or dance move.
- RSS Feed – A content delivery vehicle. Readers often follow multiple blogs and websites in a reader that compiles RSS feeds in a central location.
Saint David’s Facebook Page
To provide Saint David’s with a greater online presence that engages parishioners and fosters connection with the greater community.
Set-up and Maintenance
The page is set to admin-only posting. The page is managed from the personal accounts of administrators, which consist of two Communications Ministry members, the Rector, and the Parish Coordinator. The Facebook page administrators (primarily the designated Communications Ministry members) are responsible for monitoring the function of the group: posting content, moderating comments, reviewing analytics, etc.
Content is posted directly from the weekly E-Pistle. Other content is created and curated at the discretion of the administrators (e.g., photos, prayers, memes). Content should be 80-90% created and 10-20% curated. Postings occur 1-3 times a day: morning, mid-day, and evening.
Content is largely posted with a scheduling service called Buffer. The service allows scheduling of up to 10 posts at once for free, which equates to about a week of content. This allows for the posting of content when our followers tend to be online (based on analytic data) without requiring an administrator to be online. As with other social media accounts, the account should be a general Saint David’s account with shared access.
Saint David’s Facebook Group
To provide a centralized space for communication, collaboration, and support among parishioners.
Set-up and Maintenance
This group is a closed group. Administrators consist of two Communications Ministry members, the Rector, and the Parish Coordinator. The Facebook group administrators (primarily the designated Communications Ministry members) are responsible for monitoring the function of the group: approving requests to join, monitoring content, etc.
Posts should be church-relevant:
- Specifically about Saint David’s, Seabury Deanery, or The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut
- The church or the Bible
- Prayers or prayer requests
- The larger community – as long as it relates back to Saint David’s
Posts should not be personal updates (e.g., vacation photos, the latest funny video on YouTube, etc.). It is understandable to want to share personal updates about one’s life with all of his friends (i.e., the church community). However, this content should be shared on his personal profile where his Facebook friends can view it in their newsfeeds.
Grey Areas and Exceptions
Posting pictures where one sees God. One might see a pretty flower, for example, and think of God and His creation. Posting a picture of said flower is acceptable. However there must be a prayer, Bible verse, or otherwise thoughtful comment to accompany it, so members understand that is the intent. Otherwise, the picture looks like a personal update.
Community-related postings. Saint David’s fits into a larger community as a whole, and we are taught as Christians to go out into the community to serve God. It makes sense that there might be a desire to post about this. For example, one might be serving God by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and seeking supply donations from her fellow parishioners at Saint David’s. These types of posts are acceptable, as long as they are kept to her favorite cause and they do not become a distraction from the larger goal of the group. These posts should be kept to once or twice a year per person.
Over-curators. There are a lot of great blogs, Facebook pages, and twitter handles that specialize in posting content related to the church. Sharing a significant portion of another entity’s content is not an acceptable use of the group. (The group is not an ad hoc RSS feed.) Members of the group that enjoy that content can subscribe to the content directly. That is not to say that sharing this type of content is never acceptable. If one subscribes to one of these blogs or pages and there is a particular post that he really enjoys or thinks is especially applicable to Saint David’s, he is certainly welcome and encouraged to share it.
Over-posters. This space is supposed to be a community. Even posts that fit within the guidelines of appropriate content can become unsuitable. It is not a community if just a few people are monopolizing all of the space; there needs to be room for others to engage. Furthermore, the content others post should not get lost in the many posts of a few. It is a problem when other parishioners turn off notifications or leave the group because they feel plagued by posts other members.
Policies regarding content must be strictly enforced. Letting that “one post” slide could snowball into a larger problem later, whether it be with that same person or another person.
The policy will be communicated to the parish at large. If problems continue after communication and implementation of the policy, the Priest-In-Charge or a Vestry person will personally address the policy infringers. There will be an explanation as to why their content is not considered appropriate for the group and how they can positively contribute to the group in the future. It may also be applicable to help show the individual how to post the desired content to their personal profile, as they simply may not know how.
Beyond discussion with policy infringers, administrators can physically remove inappropriate content. Repeat offenders (after two to three explicit warnings) can be removed from the group, and thus no longer participate.
Committees and groups within Saint David’s wanting a Facebook presence should not have their own Facebook page, but rather have a group. Like the Saint David’s group, these groups should be closed.
All groups should appoint a member of the Communications Ministry as an administrator to serve as general oversight. The intent is awareness, not control.
Adopted by the vestry June 17, 2014