5 Things To Include In Your Social Media Policy

Article updated April 2024.

Gyms, fitness clubs personal trainers, and studios alike, by now should be aware of the huge potential for market growth through being active on social media channels.

Along with a myriad of benefits such as increased brand awareness, improved search engine rankings, brand loyalty, and cost-effective advertising, there are potential pitfalls of being so clearly in the public eye. We recommend that if you do not already have a social media policy in place, you do so immediately.

The policy should outline a description of social media behaviour that is unacceptable, brand guidelines, and the consequences of breaching the policy to keep your brand safe.

Director of Sydney-based FloSocial, Lynsey Fraser shared her insights on why it’s important to set up a social media policy, particularly when you own or manage a fitness club.

“The number one reason to ensure your club has a policy is to protect your brand. Sometimes the line between personal social media accounts and business can become fuzzy. It is essential to remind your staff that the way they depict themselves online can often reflect on your business, particularly if they identify themselves as an employee of your business.”

Fraser recommends you include the following in your social media policy:

1 – Respecting the privacy of your members

If you are snapping photos to be uploaded to social media, it is a courtesy to seek permission. No one wants to see their sweaty, beetroot-red face show up on Instagram without a heads-up.

2 – Selfies

The policy should also include some regulations around the use of selfies. In fact, selfies, in the changing area should be banned. Members don’t want to appear in the background of
anyone’s photo when getting changed. It may be a good idea to include this in the terms and conditions of your membership contract.

3 – Consent for images

Any images posted to your social channels should have written consent from the person/people in the photo. Where the photos include young children, parental consent should always be acquired.

4 – Policy Enforcement

It’s all very well having a social media policy, but what are the consequences when a staff member breaches the rules? Is a clear violation of the guidelines a case for instant dismissal or a verbal warning? The choice is yours, but make sure all employees are handed a copy of the policy and it’s read and signed.

5 – Responding to bad publicity

Bad reviews, negative comments in the timeline, and awkward questions can all often come into play when you’re online. Your social media policy should outline who to approach when your company’s reputation is questioned and the best way to respond to common scenarios.

5 Things To Include In Your Social Media Policy

If you’re not sure where to start, there are often social media policy templates you can find online, or simply contact a social media company, who specialise in drafting up these types of guidelines.

Original article written by Lynsey Fraser for the What’s New in Fitness Magazine – Winter 2018 Edition.

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