Best Practice Guidelines on the use of Social Media

The British Motor Sports Training Trust (BMSTT) concurs with Motorsport UK’s Best Practice Guidelines on the use of Social Media, and these have been agreed by the Trustees of the BMSTT as applying to all individuals and organisations who are associated with the Trust, either directly such as Trustees, Officers and grant aid recipients or indirectly such as (but not limited to) Motorsport UK Licensed Officials, Motorsport UK Volunteer Marshals, and Motorsport UK-registered Clubs.

Background

This document is intended to provide best practice guidelines for all who use social media websites, which include (but are not limited to) Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, and MySpace, as well as internet forums and chat rooms.

All new forms of communication provide increased opportunities to share information. They come, however, with new values. Whereas the printed word has a certain finality of declaration about it, social media is interactive, conversational and open-ended. Moreover, it exists in the public, not private, domain.

It is clearly futile simply to try to discourage the use of social media; as a means of interactive conversation it can be extremely effective and its power within modern society is undeniable.

These guidelines are intended to assist users in avoiding some of the common pitfalls that can arise and to help social media to be used in a responsible way.

Purpose

Traditional media is consumed by people through a third party channel, ie watching TV, reading the newspaper, listening to the radio. In contrast, social media allows you to create your own channel to get your message directly to those people that want to receive it.

An important difference, though, is that while traditional media is largely consumed passively (i.e. we read/hear what someone else has determined is of merit), the user of social media makes a specific decision to engage with your content. As a result, social media consists of building communities of like- minded individuals and the challenge is to offer content with which your target audience will want to engage.

Furthermore, social media offers an opportunity to utilise the power of other people’s networks. For example, the most powerful benefit comes when something goes ‘viral’; that is when people forward the message to their own friends and contacts. In this way, information can cross the world in seconds and take on a life of its own.

General Best Practice Guidelines

Adopted by the BMSTT Board of Trustees
1st May 2018