The International Social Marketing Association (iSMA)

This policy was drafted by the iSMA Communication Committee in 2012. It is intended to provide guidance to iSMA Social Media volunteers as they engage with the social marketing community on behalf of iSMA.  We welcome comments, questions and suggestions to improve this policy.

The International Social Marketing Association (iSMA) communicates with its members through its main site at The Association recognizes that social media are about sharing and collaboration; they provide important ways to engage both members and individuals/organizations with an interest in social marketing. The following principles are meant to guide the actions of individuals (volunteers) who share content on the iSMA’s various social media platforms:

• Content must be shared first with members on iSMA’s site using the site’s forum and then shared elsewhere using social media platforms.

• The purpose of sharing content is to engage individuals so that their awareness and interest in iSMA is cultivated and maintained.

• While you can engage individuals in conversations on whichever social media platform they are happening, you must encourage these individuals to visit the main site for iSMA.

• Word of mouth is extremely important to us. Remember you are representing iSMA. If you can make the interactions on our social media platforms better than expected, do it.

• Content from iSMA’s site can be shared on social media platforms. In these instances, efforts should be made to direct social media users to iSMA’s main site. This can be done by including links to iSMA or citing iSMA.

• Some types of content are not free and are not meant to be shared in open access platforms like social media. If you have access to content like this, be sure to obtain permission to share it before posting. Sometimes our “friends” or “connections” on our various social media platforms don’t want their stuff out there, so respect that.

• Avoid posting any commercial content not obviously related to social marketing. iSMA’s social media platforms must never be used to promote any event or product or issue not obviously linked to social marketing.

• Above all, our communications with people should be honest and fair. Never post anything before confirming its authenticity. If in doubt, leave it out.

• Respond to all comments or questions within 24 hours. If you are not sure how to respond to a question, seek guidance from a member of the iSMA communication committee.

• While you will be expected to post content using iSMA’s profile or identity on the various iSMA social media platforms, it is also acceptable to post content from your own profile. If any one should ask what your role in iSMA is, you are an “iSMA social media volunteer.” Do not use pseudonyms or fake profiles.

• If there is a problem (hacking, spamming, accidentally sharing content that offends) on any of the iSMA’s social media sites, please refer the matter to the chair of the iSMA communication committee. Efforts should be made to solve the problem immediately. An official apology should be issued by the iSMA communication committee chair on the affected platform(s) when the matter has been resolved.


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