We use a number of social media networks to promote our services and communicate with residents and customers.
How we use social media
Our social media accounts – currently Twitter (Periscope), Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube – are usually monitored between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. This doesn’t include public holidays or during the Christmas closedown period.
We use our social media channels to:
- inform you of what we are doing and the decisions we have made
- provide updates on projects and the services we provide
- promote local events and consultations
- share information from other public organisations
- invite you to share your feedback and comments on the work we do
We also use YouTube to post videos of council meetings and the work we do. We may share videos on YouTube from other public organisations.
In addition to other communication methods, we will use social media, and this could be out of normal office hours, to keep you informed during any emergencies or during periods of severe weather. For example, if services like bin collections are affected by weather.
We will try to respond as quickly as possible to enquiries made directly to us on social media, but if your query is urgent or outside of normal office hours please contact us in another way.
When we reply, we may ask you to complete an online form on the website which then allows us to get all the information we need to deal with your enquiry effectively. This also ensures that we can monitor the request and follow up on it if required. The limitations of Twitter, for example, mean that we might not be able to give you a full and useful reply.
If a post or tweet relates to an issue or service which the council is not responsible for, to help we may tag in the appropriate organisation, so they are aware and can help with your enquiry.
Please don’t post any personal information on the public areas of our social media accounts. If necessary we will ask you to message us directly to obtain this.
Comments posted and messages received on social media accounts are the views of individuals and don’t represent the views of the council.
We follow the rules and guidance put in place by the social media sites that we use, and rely on the measures of protection and intervention that they have in place. We reserve the right to remove any contributions that break the rules of the site.
We welcome feedback and comments on the work we do but we will not tolerate any posts that are unlawful, defamatory or libellous, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, racially offensive or discriminatory. This is not an exhaustive list.
We will also remove any posts on our social media accounts which are party political.
If we do remove any posts or block users, we will advise them of the reasons.
Liking and following
We may follow or like accounts that provide information that is relevant to our work as a council. This may include government departments, government agencies, councils, the media and organisations we work with, as well as accounts whose information we can pass on for the benefit of our residents. With regard to Twitter we will also, where appropriate, follow individuals if we need to contact them via direct message, for example when dealing with personal enquiries.
Sharing and retweeting
There may be occasions where we will support a local or national campaign by retweeting and sharing posts and times when we have to follow or like an account in order to take part in a conversation or contact an individual. This does not mean we endorse any of the accounts, their comments or actions.
As a trusted organisation any sharing of information could be seen as an endorsement of a particular view, individual or organisation, and it is important that we remain impartial and protect the reputation of Harlow Council.