Social media guidelines for employees

Guidelines for employees managing City of Guelph accounts

Usually, the City responds to social media comments or questions during regular business hours; Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Questions or comments are acknowledged or answered within one business day.

The City may schedule promotional messages after business hours or on weekends.

The City may reply to questions or comments if:

  • the post asks a sincere question about a City service, program or policy
  • the post includes inaccurate information – the City may provide a correction

The City may not reply to questions or comments if:

  • the post includes respectful statements of opinion – people are welcome to express their views even if they disagree with City policies, programs or decisions
  • the post is respectful, and directed at other participants in the conversation

Posts that include profane or disrespectful language, especially those directed at City employees, are not appropriate and will not be tolerated. If a post violates the City’s social media commenting guidelines:

  • The City will hide or delete the post if possible
  • If removal is not possible, and the post is directed at an employee, the City may respond and ask the user to refrain from further disrespectful and inappropriate comments
  • If the user does not comply, the City may, ignore, mute or block the user.

As an active participant in online conversations, the City may follow community groups, organizations or individuals, and may share content from other users if the material is aligned with the City’s values, programs, services or initiatives.

Guidelines for employees using their personal accounts

Employees are encouraged to follow the City’s official social media accounts and use their personal accounts to share positive stories about their coworkers, programs and services.

Even if they don’t identify themselves as a City of Guelph employee in their personal websites, blogs or social media profiles, employees must act according to the City’s Code of Conduct.

The City doesn’t expect or encourage employees to deliver customer service on behalf of the City using personal accounts. Questions about City programs or services should be directed to the City’s customer service team via Facebook, Twitter, phone or email.

The City doesn’t expect or encourage employees to use personal accounts to respond to questions or comments about City programs, services, decisions or policies on media websites, people’s blogs, community-run social media groups or pages, or other public forums.

When employees are online, they’re in public and are expected to serve the public with integrity, honesty and respect. Employees must not to share private or confidential information, or any other content that reflects poorly on them, their co-workers or the City of Guelph.

Opinions expressed on an employee’s personal website, blog and/or social media account do not necessarily reflect the official position of the City of Guelph.