Social Media Compliance

When it comes to social media in aging services, one of the biggest objections we hear is the fear of compliance.

Social media compliance should be tied directly to social media policies. Social media policies should not be treated like a business plan that is generally written and put on a shelf somewhere to collect dust. Social media policies are designed to be living, breathing things that change as the business and the industry changes.

Most social media efforts require common sense – things like not posting images or videos of residents or patients without consent or having release forms in place that allow or disallow for those types of posts. And things like not posting resident or patient names or any medical details about them.

Many organizations fear the social media activities of their employees, residents or the family members of their residents. The fact of the matter is that just because you don’t have a presence on social media, that doesn’t preclude people from talking about your organization.

So what do we do?

Establish a social media presence but use common sense. Understand the social media privacy settings regarding how external resources can interact with your presence. Create internal and external social media policies and review and update regularly to ensure they adhere to any HIPPA or other agency guidelines and to take into consideration any new features or security changes the social media channels themselves provide.

Understanding how to monitor the activities on social media platforms goes a long way towards ensuring there are no compliance breaches. Employees, residents and even family members can be trained on what is and what isn’t acceptable.

If your organization is considering using a third-party social media management company (like e-Merge Online Marketing), make sure this topic is a part of the conversation before engaging with them. Do they monitor the conversations and act accordingly on your behalf? Do they understand the security settings of the social networking channels? Can they offer assistance with creating and updating internal and external social media policies?

Social media is not going away so shying away from using it could provide others with a competitive advantage. Embracing it, but understanding what is and isn’t allowed – or working with a third-party provider that understands what is and isn’t allowed – will bring you many steps closer to connecting with your community, residents, family members, staff and more.

Visit our website at or contact us to learn more about how we can help with your social media management, monitoring, advertising, and social media policies.