Social Media Guidelines for Institutional Social Media Accounts
Social media is another communication tool to share relevant news to your community, create connections and engage with an external audience. It can take many forms, including but not limited to blogs, online forums, and networking sites The following Social Media Guidelines apply to all Columbus State institutional social media accounts. These Guidelines are not intended to cover faculty or staff use of social media for teaching; student organizations use of social media; nor the personal social media accounts of faculty, staff, and students.
All institutional social media accounts, which are defined as accounts used on behalf of the College, must be reported to Marketing & Communications (M&C) at firstname.lastname@example.org for documentation. Administrators of institutional social media accounts are defined as the College employee with primary day-to-day responsibility of the account. Columbus State’s primary Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts are managed by M&C and the department is also responsible for monitoring College activity and content.
Administrators of Institutional Social Media Accounts are Responsible for:
- Creating, maintaining, and managing content on their respective social media sites
and engaging with users.
- When posting on institutional social media accounts as part of your Columbus State position all existing College policies apply. Employees must not violate the College’s policies including but not limited to discrimination/harassment, computing, privacy, IT, FERPA, intellectual property, branding, freedom of speech, and other local, state and federal policies and laws.
- Should any post go “viral” or receive media attention, please contact M&C immediately so a consistent message can be crafted and communication can be distributed by an official spokesperson of the College, as outlined in College Policy No. 11-03, College Representations.
- If there is an emergency situation, all official posts will come from the Columbus State Police Department’s official social media accounts. From there other institutional social media sites may share that information. Never post unapproved information or messages, doing so could jeopardize the safety of individuals or result in false information being attributed or disseminated.
- Ensuring all content is relevant to the goals and objectives of their respective group/department
and upholding the communication benefits and brand standards of Columbus State, as
well as the broader context of safety, security, and reputation.
- Visit the the marketing category for the official logo, approved images, and brand standards.
- Appointing a back-up administrator in case someone is out of the office, etc. If no one else can be identified, please contact email@example.com to have a marketing and communications representative added.
- Responding to inquiries and comments on institutional social media accounts.
- Columbus State respects freedom of speech and First Amendment law. Posts and comments
on open social media accounts cannot be limited or removed based on content except
in the following circumstances in which social media administrators reserve the right
to do so:
- If the post or comment materially interrupts College business or interferes with the opportunity of other students to obtain an education
- Disclosure of information that is confidential by law or regulation
- Comments or posts that are in violation of the law (i.e. obscene language)
- Comments or posts violating copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property
- Advertisement or promotion of commercial products, services, entities, or individuals (spam)
- Columbus State respects freedom of speech and First Amendment law. Posts and comments on open social media accounts cannot be limited or removed based on content except in the following circumstances in which social media administrators reserve the right to do so:
- Contacting Columbus State Police Department immediately when information posted to an institutional social media account threatens violence or harm to a person, property or the university or otherwise threatens the immediate safety of a person, property, or the university.
- Remembering that you speak on behalf of the College when posting on institutional
social media accounts and as such, you are prohibited from representing personal opinions
as College-endorsed views or policies.
- Employees are prohibited from using the College brand or name to endorse any cause or political candidate per Ohio political activity law (Ohio Admin. Code §123:1-46-02) and Columbus State political activity guidelines.
Best Practices for Institutional Social Media Accounts
- Set a goal and strategy: Outline the goals you’d like to accomplish as you would with any communication and marketing campaign.
- Identify your audience: Who are you trying to reach? When you determine your audience, you can tailor messages that will add value and increase engagement.
- Post regularly/consistently: While the number of times per day or per week a department chooses to post may vary, it is important to regularly update social sites in order to stay relevant.
- Think twice and re-read before posting: All social media is public—and permanent. Make sure any content shared is accurate, grammatically correct, and necessary. As always, any questions can be directed to M&C.
- Measure your results: Review metrics on posts to find out what went well and what didn’t. Adapt accordingly.
- Collaborate: All institutional social media accounts should be working together to share news, events and other relevant information.
- Be aware of legal liability: Others can pursue legal action for posts or comments that may be defamatory or libelous. Be civil and respectful.
- Contact Marketing & Communications: We are here to provide direction in using and/or creating social sites. If you need help developing cover images, getting an approved logo, writing content for a profile bio, etc. please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.