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Social Media

SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES

INTRODUCTION

Social media has grown to be a key communications tool. It will help Civil Air Patrol strengthen ties with members and the local community. Social media offers anyone with an Internet connection the opportunity to see into our world and decide if they share our values and interests. It is a place where audiences go to form an impression. With friends and a few trusted brands, social media users share and comment and interact to the extent that their lifestyles allow. Therefore, Civil Air Patrol must take great care in developing the content that will form our online reputation.

GENERAL GUIDANCE

Social Media Goals

The primary goal of every local CAP social media channel is to raise awareness of CAP activities and members that positively reflect our Core Values of Integrity, Volunteer Service, Excellence and Respect. Specific unit goals marketed on the unit’s social media channels should be outlined in the annual PA Plan.

Hashtags

A hashtag is a label commonly used on social media posts to help users find content with a specific theme. The # sign is placed before a word. They can be used as part of a #sentence or they can go at the end of a post

Social Media Dos and Don’ts

                Do:

  • Listen and engage with your followers

  • Know what your followers want to hear and see

  • Stay current. Follow hot-button items so you can post appropriately on social media

  • Follow people and organizations that are supporters and donors of Civil Air Patrol

  • Whatever you post on social media should be a direct reflection of CAP’s values

Don’t:

  • Don’t talk politics, sports or religion

  • Don’t post someone else’s material without their permission

  • Don’t be sarcastic and snarky

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

Facebook

Facebook is the largest social media platform, with over 1 billion users around the world. Because of its size, Facebook has been a favorite channel of organizations working to raise awareness.

An official Facebook page is managed through a personal Profile. CAP units may only represent their unit through an official page — not as a Group or personal Profile.

Getting started:

An official Facebook page is managed through a personal Profile. Profiles must be real people and use a real name. CAP units may only represent their unit through an official page — not as a Group or Profile.

Creating a company page:

On the initial “Create a Page” page, select “Company, Organization, or Institution,” and select “Non-Profit Organization” as the category. Your “company” name should be “Civil Air Patrol” plus your unit’s name as specifically outlined in the About Section guidance.

Admins:

Each Facebook page has administrators who have certain rights to the page. Each page will also be accessible by a designee at the next higher headquarters, who will also have full admin rights. In essence, these are the people that can post on Facebook and also invite other authorized employees to post on the company’s Facebook page.

About section:

This section describes your organization and what it’s about. Be sure to categorize the company as a nonprofit organization. You can share the company’s mission statement, contact information, basic business information and link to the organization’s official webpage.

Profile/Cover photo:

Many organizations often keep their logo as the profile picture. This is the picture followers will see when searching or viewing posts. The cover photo is often a picture of a current event at the organization and is updated frequently. It is a good idea to update your cover photo every one to two months.

Groups:

An individual or company user can create a group page, inviting users to join. This allows for collaboration among users sharing updates, uploading photos or videos and messaging other group members.

Events:

An individual or a company can create an event, i.e. fundraisers, conferences, specific dates, etc. and invite followers to attend the event. Once the event is created, admins can post updates regarding the event, and attendees will be notified.

Tagging:

Typing the @ symbol and the words Civil Air Patrol, for example, will pop-up the CAP page and allow you to click on it to tag the national CAP Facebook page in your posts. This allows the NHQ social media team to see and possibly share your content. The same applies when tagging a friend or a company page. The friend or company will receive a notification making the post or photograph visible to all of their Facebook friends and followers.

Content:

Post photos, updates, like and comment on other posts to keep followers apprised of current events. When there is a big event that you want your viewers to follow if they are unable to be there in person, stream Facebook Live. It’s a live video where your followers can watch in real time, comment and like as the video streams. You have the ability to respond to your viewers in the comment section as they are watching the live stream.

Twitter

Twitter has 883 million users worldwide. Because of its 280-character limit, Twitter is ideal for short messages or links to photos, videos or more information. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is where breaking news happens in real-time. Twitter is most effective if you remain in your followers’ news feeds, responding to their conversations, and reminding them of Civil Air Patrol’s activities.

Getting started:

Admins:

Each Twitter account has administrators who have certain rights to the account. The admins are the active tweeters for CAP.

Username:

The username associated with the Twitter channel should match the unit’s other social media channels and website address. A wing account should use “wing” and “CAP” if possible in its username, and a unit account should use “CAP” along with the distinctive part or charter number in its username, i.e. @NatCapWing

Profile settings:

To edit the profile information, click on “Edit Profile” on the Twitter channel homepage, which is at twitter.com/username. Replace username with your own username.

Profile/Header photo:

The same principle for Facebook applies for Twitter. Many organizations often keep their logo as the profile picture. This is the picture followers will see when searching or viewing posts. The header photo is often a picture of a current event at the organization and is updated frequently. It is a good idea to update your cover photo every one to two months.

                Bio:

This is a short blurb informing followers about your organization. It can only be 160 characters, so be concise and intentional with what you want your followers to know about you.

Following:

When you start your local CAP Twitter channel, immediately follow people whom you would consider community influencers or people whom you would like to follow Civil Air Patrol. Following them will make them aware of your Twitter channel, and they are more likely to follow you back if you have already followed them. To build your following, engage in this following activity on a regular basis. Most of the time, you should follow anyone who follows you.

Actions:

                Reply:

Any time someone positively mentions your Twitter channel, reply to thank them, and put a period before their username if you would like your reply to be public, e.g., .@CivilAirPatrol … If you start a tweet with just the username, only followers in common will see that tweet.

                Retweet:

If someone tweets information that you think would be interesting to your followers, retweet it.

Favorite:

Similar to Facebook, favoriting a tweet is a way for a user to get notified that you like his or her tweet.

                Best Twitter practices:

Keep your tweets conversational like you’re talking to a friend. Avoid a stuffy, marketing voice. Use Twitter as a way to show off your brand of humor, wit and know-how. People seek out entertainment and education.

Engage your followers. Ask questions, post links, listen and respond to your followers. This allows for increased following and retweets if your followers feel engaged with you.

Instagram

Instagram is a photo-sharing social platform that is mostly accessible via a mobile device. Users can take a photo within the app or upload photos from their phone’s photo library into the app. From the app, users share photos after adding captions, photo filters and hashtags, which are all optional. Instagram offers the greatest opportunity to reach current and potential CAP cadets.

Getting started:

Admins:

The same principle as Twitter and Facebook applies here. Each Instagram account has administrators who have certain rights to the account. The admins are the active Instagrammers for CAP.

Content:

Instagram is a photo and video outlet. Post photos and videos related to current events at CAP, whether it’s highlighting a ceremony, a cadet mission or volunteers offering aid. Upload pictures to Instastory by tapping and holding on your profile picture on the home screen. Instastories last for only 24 hours and are a quick and easy way for followers to stay up to date about current events without being inundated with several social media posts in one day.

Username:

The same principle applies.

Following:

To build your list of Civil Air Patrol Instagram followers, follow people who you think would be most likely to be interested in your posts,

Tagging:

Tag the people in your photos. They will get a notification that you tagged them in a picture. Tag your photos with the #CivilAirPatrol hashtag at the very minimum. This hashtag allows NHQ to track all CAP-related photos/videos and reuse them if needed.

YouTube

YouTube is a social media outlet for people to upload and watch videos. Anyone can watch YouTube videos, but you must have an account to upload videos. Video content may be humorous, informational, heartwarming, etc.

                Getting started:

Channel:

Once you create an account, you have the ability to create your own channel, or YouTube profile. Your channel is where you can see all of your uploaded videos.

Subscriptions:

You have the option of subscribing to other users’ channels. This allows you to watch their latest videos.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional networking site designed to be a career development tool. Users make connections with current and former colleagues and work to cultivate new working relationships. On LinkedIn, users find information relevant to their industries and interests.

                Getting started:

Adding CAP to your profile:

This is a way for other companies and users to see what Civil Air Patrol is and how you’ve been involved. A LinkedIn profile is basically an online resume.

Networking:

You can connect with other companies and users as a way to build your social network. Companies will post about current events, similar to Facebook, but in a more professional manner. You have the option of liking, commenting or sharing their story, just like Facebook.

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