- Do not post confidential or proprietary information about Suffolk University, its students, alumni, or employees.
- Adhere to institutional policies as well as federal regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). [OS1]
- Respect privacy of others: do not discuss a situation involving named individuals without their permission.
- Do not post anything you would not normally in any public forum.
Be honest and transparent. More information[LB1] on maintaining transparency can be found in the following sections.
- Distinguish personal from professional identity, and clarify personal views as non-representative of any university affiliation.
[LB1]see section on posting on behalf of the university
Think Before You Post
- When considering content to be published, remember the phrase “Think twice, publish once.” There is no such thing as a “private” social media network. Search engines can archive posts and pictures years after publication.
- Be mindful of publishing angry or passionate content in the heat of the moment.
- As a rule of thumb, only post pictures that you would be comfortable sharing with the general public, including peers and current or future employers.
- Increase exposure for your social media account by using Suffolk University in the title and avoiding acronyms.
- In the “About” section describing your unit, include a statement that acknowledges your affiliation with Suffolk University.
- Whenever possible, use a general email address and phone number as contact information instead of an individual's direct line.
- Protect the university brand by using the official visual marks and graphics. The Office of Marketing and Communications has created social media icons for official use in university social media accounts. [link] [LB3] Contact OMC for more information.
Seek Approval and Be Transparent
- Any individual maintaining a social media site representing or on behalf of Suffolk University must clearly identify their role and/or goals.
- Be mindful when posting under a university username so as to not mislead viewers. Posts made from university accounts are assumed to come from the university.
- Always be respectful; posted content is a direct reflection of Suffolk and its community.
- Individuals should have a clear understanding of when they are empowered to respond to users directly versus circumstances requiring supervisor approval.
- Any messages that act as the voice or assume a position on behalf of Suffolk University should be approved by the Director of Online Content and/or the Director of Digital and Social Media[LB4] , or by the director of the college or sub-unit.
- When in doubt about the relevance or appropriateness of content, do not post.
- Do not comment critically on other institutions or legal matters.
- It is likely that people will post negative comments on your social media outlet, but you should respond to them professionally. Be respectful of others' opinions and do not suppress disagreement. Use it as an opportunity to correct misinformation and turn a negative into a positive.
- Delete profanity and other offensive content. See the University’s “rules of the road” for managing online communities and feel free to link or include on your own channels. [link to the policy in our Facebook about section]
- Remember: Everything you post is public. The content that you post reflects on the university. Post respectfully and responsibly. If you are ever unsure about the appropriateness of material to share on social media, check with your supervisor or contact the Office of Marketing and Communications.
Adhere to style guidelines
- Use correct grammar and write in complete sentences when possible.
- Never write with all the letters capitalized. A
- void Avoid jargon and institutional language.
- Abbreviations are sometimes necessary to meet word limits, but don't overdo it. Do not use unprofessional abbreviations, such as "u" or "r." [LB5]
- Use "we," "our" and other inclusive words.
- Do not explicitly ask for likes, retweets, or shares. The value of your content should prompt those actions.
- When possible and appropriate, include visual content — such as photos and videos — to increase engagement. However, when uploading photos and videos, be sure to only post content to which you own the rights. If appropriate, provide proper credit/citation to the source.
- Be friendly, helpful and informative.
Create a Management Method
- Assign a coordinator to regularly monitor postings and content.
- It is easier to keep the social media account active and up-to-date if two or more content managers are designated, thereby ensuring greater audience reach and engagement.
- Develop your flow of content by determining when and what you will post. Aim for a consistent schedule of postings and updates, keeping content timely and relevant. A standard recommendation for frequency of posts is 1-2 times per week; be mindful of overloading followers, causing loss of interest.
- Keep content fresh. Provide regular and timely updates, but don't overdo it.
Post Content that is Meaningful and Relevant to Your Unit
- Think about how the content might advance your unit's initiatives and goals.
- Be relevant. Do not post about trending Internet memes, photos or videos
- , or news that is not germane to your unit's interests.
- Interact with users – after all, they are your community and have a vested interest in you and your events. Post content that encourages feedback and positive interaction.
- Respond in a timely fashion to inquiries.
- When sharing news about your unit, provide a link to the
- University's news release or official announcement whenever possible rather than providing a link to a media outlet.
- Connect users with resources. Link back to content throughout the Suffolk.edu website to drive traffic back to the university.
Customize Posts for the Social Media Outlet Being Used
- It is OK to post about the same topic on multiple outlets, but tailor the text for the audience. Mix it up. Make the posts different to avoid repetition.
- Keep in mind what subject matter is appropriate for the specific social media outlet that you are using, given your audience and the nature of the medium.
- Do not link status updates to post automatically from one social media account to another.
Analyze and organize your content to improve your social media account. Use analytic tools to assess your progress and keep track of posts that users respond to positively.
If you have additional relevant information to share pertaining to the operations of your unit (e.g. event cancellations, changes to hours or service), please use social media to share that information, but please do so in conjunction with disseminating top-level University messages.
[OS1]Insert links here
[LB2]see section on posting on behalf of the university
[LB3]Elaborate/include link to content guidelines/visual assets/official logo/typeface/pantone color scheme/rgbyk
[LB5]This is almost verbatim from K-State and should be re-written. Also is redundant of previous sections. Delete?
[LB6]This is pretty much taken directly from K-State policy. Almost verbatim. Can Josh/Georgy review and rewrite please? Much of this is already covered above, but i know we had planned to include a section on how to write/choose content.
I think this would be the best place to include information re: optimally sized photos for Facebook, etc. Josh, pls verify?
[LB9]Should this be incorporated into the section directly above?
[LB10]Josh to elaborate? Should this be included for the purposes of this document?