With hate speech and ‘fake news’ becoming more and more prevalent in today’s digital world, it’s important that you have a clear action plan if and when questionable content is posted on your social media pages.  

Creating community guidelines is necessary to inform the public of what will and won’t be tolerated on your social pages. 

We’ve outlined everything you need to know about implementing online community guidelines  

What are community guidelines? 

Community guidelines are a set of rules that outline what sort of language and behaviour will and won’t be tolerated on a brands social media page. These guidelines are put in place to make the public aware that if they do not comply with the rules, their comments or posts may be deleted from the page. 

Why are they important? 

Community guidelines are important for businesses to let the public know what is and isn’t acceptable to post or comment on their social media pages, allowing for effective moderation. If someone posts harmful, negative or spam content, this may cause readers to associate this language with the brand, which could negatively affect the reputation of the brand. Therefore, community guidelines are important so that businesses have control over what type of content is shown on their pages. 

What should you include in your community guidelines? 

Your community guidelines must set the standard for content posted on your page, and they need to state the type of audience your brand is associated with. For example, Property Republic’s community guidelines state that, This Property Republic Facebook page is a respectful community, where we and our followers can share our passion for property marketing, offer insights and create connections. 

This gives the audience an idea of the language, tone and type of content that is acceptable 

Your community guidelines must clearly state your moderation policy. This includes what type of comments or posts will be deleted and/or hidden, and in which case a user may be banned from your social media pages. 

Apart from stating what is not allowed, make sure to outline what type of comments are encouraged, so that users still feel welcome to post and contribute to the your page.

Where can you house them? 

Community guidelines are typically placed in the ‘About’ section on a business’ Facebook page. This is easily accessible to users browsing a company’s social media page, and may be looking for information about the business.  

You may also choose to create a new tab along the left-hand-side of your Facebook profile called Community Guidelines and display them here. This way, users can immediately see where your community guidelines are when viewing your Facebook page.