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  3. Social Media Policy and Guidelines

Social Media Policy and Guidelines

Introduction 

Social Media Defined 

Social media refers to various digital tools that allow people to connect with one another, create and share content, and receive information. It is an ever-evolving landscape for communication and interaction. 

Daemen University uses social media platforms to communicate with stakeholders such as students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the media, as well as market the institution, its academic programs, and its public value to our community and beyond. Use of social media allows for real time dissemination of news, information and other content to Daemen’s stakeholder groups and allows nearly instant feedback and communication between them and the institution. For these reasons, strategic social media management and best practices must be applied when employing these communication tools. 

The following are the official main institutional social media accounts held by Daemen University. Other main accounts on emerging channels are in development. 

●Facebook 

●LinkedIn 

●Twitter 

●YouTube 

●Instagram 

●TikTok

Ancillary social media accounts also exist to represent the diverse Daemen University community and all it has to offer. While these accounts may be run by various individuals, divisions, or departments, they are all still representative of Daemen University and thus require oversight by the Marketing and Communications function of the university to ensure they are operated with the mission, values, and vision of the college in mind. In addition, because these accounts are representative of Daemen University, they also require support from the Marketing and Communications function of the college in the form of tools, resources, and ongoing social media-focused training and education to ensure that they are employed effectively. 

Daemen’s Mission and Social Media 

The mission of Daemen University is to prepare students for life and leadership in an increasingly diverse and complex world by integrating the intellectual qualities acquired through the liberal arts with the preparation necessary for professional achievement. 

The faculty, staff, and students of the Daemen University community value

● a diversity of ideas, backgrounds and beliefs 

● a student centered atmosphere 

● holistic/experiential learning 

● advanced information literacy 

● rigorous critical thinking and creative problem solving 

● effective communication skills 

● keen moral and ethical discernment 

● acute affective awareness 

● informed civic engagement 

● an understanding of the role of context 

● intellectual rigor 

● local and global responsibility 

● professional preparation 

Keeping these ideas in mind at all times, utilizing social media channels allow Daemen University to share content in the forms of news, information, events, stories, photos, videos, and more with all key stakeholders. It is through this information, and through the accessibility to this information, that Daemen University is able to reinforce and fulfill the mission, vision, and values of the college. 

Our Goals 

Daemen University will aim to use all official social media accounts strategically and effectively to encourage conversation, build relationships with our diverse community of stakeholders, promote events, share stories that are important to the Daemen community, and continue to fulfill the institution’s mission and build momentum into the future.  

Policies 

Account Monitoring 

All official social media accounts associated with Daemen University will be monitored by the Department of Marketing and Communications within Institutional Advancement to ensure they are operating with the mission, vision, and values of the institution in mind. Content posted via ancillary Daemen University accounts reflects not only a department/organization, but the university as well. 

It is the responsibility of department supervisors to ensure content/information being shared is respectful, accurate, and not offensive. The proper disciplinary actions will take place when content violates the practices set forth by this document. The vice president for institutional advancement in conjunction with the vice president for strategic initiatives and other leadership roles as deemed necessary will work collaboratively to address any social media related issues that arise. 

Operation in Accordance to Handbooks | Code of 

Conduct 

Individuals posting on behalf of official Daemen University social media accounts, whether faculty, staff, or students, will not violate the code of conduct set forth by the Staff and Administrative Handbook, Full-Time Faculty Handbook, and the Student Handbook. Please note that the code of conduct also informs the institution’s expectations of personal use of social media. Actions in violation of these codes can result in disciplinary action. 

Violations of these codes via social media include (but are not limited to) posting offensive language or imagery, harassment, cyberbullying and discrimination. Faculty, staff, and/or students who manage social media accounts relating to or affiliated with Daemen University are responsible for serving as professional representatives of the college. All activities should align with policy statements and regulations as outlined in the current Staff and Administrative Handbook, Full-Time Faculty Handbook, and the Student Handbook. 

Failure to follow these guidelines may result in (but are not limited to) the removal of account administrative access, account termination, and/or other legal or institutional repercussions as deemed fit. 

Keep in mind other Daemen University policies. For example, please refer to the Technology Acceptable Use Policy for more information in regards to Daemen University Information Technology resources. Access to these resources is a privilege, not a right. 

This document does not reflect the full detail of all campus policies that may impact social media, including employee policies, academic policies and procedures, and our File Sharing Policy. 

Faculty Obligations: The following was taken directly from the academic freedom section of the Daemen University Faculty Handbook: 

“Faculty members are citizens, members of a learned profession, and representatives of the college. When faculty members speak or write as citizens, they shall be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, faculty members should remember that the public may judge their profession and the college by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the college.” 

Staff and Administration Obligations: The following was taken directly from the conduct section of the Staff and Administrative Handbook: 

“You are an important goodwill ambassador of the college. As a member of the campus community, you will come in contact with students, faculty, other employees, parents, alumni and visitors. The university is judged by what you say and how you act.” 

For more information, relevant to staff and administrative obligations, please review the Computer Resources Use Policy of the Staff and Administrative Handbook. 

Existing Account Information 

Any existing social media account that posts on behalf of Daemen University must share account information and provide administrative rights to the Department of Marketing and Communications through the marketing and digital media specialist position. This includes the name of the account administrator(s), email address, phone number, and account affiliation. 

This information will be kept confidential. Ancillary account information will only be used in times of emergency, crisis communication efforts, or if the main account administrator leaves their position. 

Brand Identity 

The Daemen University brand identity must remain consistent throughout all communications channels, including social media. Do not alter, adjust, or transform official Daemen University logos and branding. Please review the current Daemen University Graphic Guidelines for more information. Specific requests or inquiries for artwork, logos, or other creative assets can be made by contacting the director of publications within Institutional Advancement. 

Maintain Confidentiality 

Do not share personal information through Daemen University’s social media accounts. This includes (but is not limited to) names, addresses, dates of birth, passwords, social security numbers, and health information. Follow all local, state, and federal regulations such as FERPA and HIPPA. Do not violate Daemen University’s Confidentiality Agreement. 

However, it is encouraged to disclose which department is managing a particular social media account. This can be done via the account’s description/bio fields. This will help inform external entities where information is coming from. 

No External Promotion 

Social media accounts associated with Daemen University may not be used for personal or financial gain or to promote personal activities. Account managers may not promote a product, activist causes, or political party through accounts associated with Daemen University. 

Inactive Social Account Termination 

To help reduce the number of social media accounts that require account management, inactive social media accounts associated with Daemen University will be reviewed periodically and assessed for termination. Inactive accounts can represent the university in a negative way to external stakeholders. 

New Account Requests 

If a Daemen University department, office/division club, organization, or group feels the need to create a new social media account, a request must be made through the Department of Marketing and Communications. Please contact the marketing and digital media specialist via email to make a formal request. Requests must be made and vetted by the division prior to implementing any new Daemen University social media accounts. 

Best Practices, Tools, and Training and Education  

The following points are general best practices to follow when managing a social media account on behalf of an institution, business, club, department, or organization. While these are not the only best practices to follow, they help to provide a solid foundation for social media management and content creation. 

Know Your Platform 

Each social media platform is different, and each has a unique way of sharing information with your designated audience. Keep this in mind when posting or developing content. 

You can post the same message across various social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) but you should tailor the content based on the platform. Try not to post the exact same copy, video, or image across all platforms. Instead, try making minor adjustments that reflect where you are posting content. 

Know Your Goal 

What are you looking to accomplish? Whether you are promoting an upcoming event or trying to help showcase something unique on campus, knowing the goal of your social media efforts is critical. This can help measure the effectiveness of your social media strategy and help influence future content. 

Use S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) when helping to create content for social media. 

Know Your Audience 

Keeping your platform and goals of social media in mind, you also need to know your audience. This will allow you to craft a message that resonates best with them. 

For example, content intended to generate awareness for Daemen’s e-sports team may be different from content intended for Daemen alumni relations efforts. 

However, social media content can be seen by a large audience. This can include, but is not limited to, current students, faculty, staff, alumni, prospective students, donors and more. Be aware of this before posting anything on social media and please keep the concepts of accessibility, diversity, and inclusion in mind. 

Tell the Daemen Story  

Does the content that you are considering posting add to the tapestry of the Daemen story? Good content should connect to our mission, vision and values (generally implicitly) and help build a consistent brand throughout your account, which connects to the college’s overall brand. Visitors to the page should have a feeling of continuity as they look at different posts in terms of both look and feel and voice. As you consider content, ask yourself if it contributes to the story you are looking to tell and the feelings you seek to elicit or if it detracts from it. Good content helps build the story. 

Think Twice 

Content posted on social media does not live in its own vacuum. Instead, it contributes to a plethora of other thoughts and ideas with people all over the world. With that in mind, think twice and double-check your posts before they go out. 

Those managing social media accounts on behalf of a Daemen University department, group, club or organization are representatives of Daemen University. Users who interact with these various social media accounts may assume you are speaking on behalf of a department or the college as a whole. They most likely do not know the inner workings of departments at Daemen University. 

It is imperative that you take into consideration how someone, or perhaps a group of people, will react to your content. Do not post anything that may offend people. Do not post any content that may be slanderous. 

If you question whether or not your content may offend someone, you can reach out to your direct supervisor or the marketing and digital media specialist for additional guidance. 

Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect 

What you post on social media is a direct reflection of not only Daemen University, but your professional integrity as well. Everything you post can be seen by the public. Even if you have privacy settings enabled, there is still a chance that others can see what you post. 

Do not engage in negative online discussions. Do not post information or content that hurts or offends a particular group of people. Do not post derogatory or slanderous comments about Daemen University, current or former students, donors, faculty or staff, or other stakeholders. 

It is important to be considerate to all people, no matter their background. Content shared on social media will encourage discussion. Even if those viewpoints are different from your own, we must not belittle others or suppress conflicting ideas. For more guidance on social media under the lens of diversity and inclusion, please reach out to the chief diversity officer and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. 

Responding to Negative or Sensitive Comments  

If a response is necessary, please connect with your direct report and key Department of Marketing Communications staff regarding an official response. Key points of contact are the director of institutional communications, and the marketing and digital media specialist. 

If you find yourself in a position where the communication becomes antagonistic, avoid being defensive. Please be respectful of other people’s opinions. Having thoughtful discussions on relevant topics is a great way to build your community and is a vital aspect of having a successful social media site. Loop in your supervisor and marketing communications staff as early as possible to help you manage the situation and avoid the need for crisis communications. 

Maintain Accuracy 

Make sure the information and content you share is accurate and correct. Providing inaccurate information may lead to confusion and a lack of trust. It can take a long time to build up trust on social media, but it can all go away in an instant. Double-check your posts for proper grammar usage, proper punctuation, misspellings and more. Please refer to the Daemen University Editorial Style Guide for guidance, but also feel free to curate a distinct voice and tone for your social media account. 

If incorrect information is shared, work quickly and efficiently to retract the statement and provide a correction. 

Avoid Copyright Infringement 

Copyright infringement is easy to avoid when posting to social media. If the content you’re posting falls under the “fair use” provision, then you must give credit to the creator and you may post the information. If the content you’re posting does not fall under the “fair use” provision, you must legally request permission and give the creator credit. 

For more information on the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, please see the Daemen University File Sharing Policy. 

Maintain Confidentiality and 

Privacy 

Do not post proprietary information about Daemen University, including personal information about students, alumni or employees. Protection exists on most records related to students from disclosure under federal law, known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Disclosing any personally identifiable student education records is a violation of this law. Information collected in connection with research could fall under the protection of a nondisclosure agreement, research protocol or another applicable law or agreement. Any protected information is prohibited from being shared on social media. 

Maintain Consistency 

Content shared on social media needs to follow the same voice, tone, and posting frequency to ensure the effective use of each platform. 

Building an engaged online audience takes time. By posting high-quality content consistently that proves to benefit people, you will be on the right path to an engaged social community. 

Users who follow and interact with the social media account(s) you manage on behalf of Daemen University will expect a particular level of professionalism and content delivered to them. Accounts that appear to be inactive reflect poorly. Again, what you post is a direct reflection of Daemen University. 

Updates Happen Frequently 

Technology moves fast. Updates to policies, social media platforms, and how we interact with each other online is constantly in flux. That means that people managing social media accounts on behalf of Daemen University must remain diligent in staying up to date with the latest trends, policies, and best practices.  

Tools and Resources 

Please go to the Marketing and Communications Support webpage for helpful tools, resources, and educational programming available to help supercharge your social media efforts: 

https://sites.google.com/daemen.edu/marketing-request-forms/social-media-toolkit?aut huser=0  

Updated on September 8, 2022

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