Social Media Best Practices
Blogs, social networks and Web sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Flickr are quickly becoming the preferred tools for individuals to share knowledge, express creativity and connect online with others who share similar interests. Because many of Berry’s constituents are already using social media tools, it’s important that the college participate and contribute to the online conversation whenever possible through these channels. The college supports your participation in these online communities, but also expects you to act responsibly, understanding that in many cases you are perceived as a representative of the college.
Because social media channels are fairly new to Berry College employees, we’ve assembled this “best practices” site to help you use social media effectively, protect your personal and professional reputation, and portray Berry consistently and professionally.
Thinking about Starting up a Department Social Media Account/Page?
- First, you should determine your purpose for using social media.
- If you participate in or maintain a social media site on behalf of Berry College, clearly state your role and goals. If you choose to post about Berry College on your personal time, please identify yourself as a Berry College faculty or staff member. Never hide your identity for the purpose of promoting Berry College through social media.
- You shouldn’t set up a department account without a plan for how to use and manage it.
- When sharing announcements or information with the general Berry population, it makes sense to have those items posted to the official Berry social media outlets. These outlets have a much broader Berry audience of which you can take advantage, and your content adds to that body of communicative knowledge.
- If you have authorization from your area’s administrator to set up an official Berry College social media account or page, you must make the commitment to manage it properly (see General Recommendations for additional information).
- Updates should be posted and moderated on a regular basis. Whenever possible, set your site so that you can review and approve comments, photos or videos before they appear
- As a Berry College employee, you understand the college’s commitment to encouraging others’ opinions and to the civil and thoughtful discussion of opposing ideas. Your reputation and that of Berry College is best served when you remain above the fray.
- The department account/page should be properly promoted
- E-communication Services should be notified that your department account/page was set up. Links from Berry’s official sites will then be created as needed.
- The Berry College Department of E-Communications currently maintains the following official social media sites for the college:
General Social Media Recommendations
- Make sure that you have all the facts before you post. It’s better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. Cite and link to your sources whenever possible. If known factual errors exist in comments or posts made by fans/members, please correct them and provide references to the correct information whenever possible.
- Do not use the Berry College logo, athletic logo,seal or any other Berry College marks or images on your personal online sites. If you have been authorized to create an official Berry College social media site or a video for posting in locations such as YouTube, please consult the Berry College Public Relations Web site at www.berry.edu/pr for visual identity guidelines and approved logos. Please contact the Department of Public Relations and Marketing for related images and to ensure coordination with other Berry College sites and content.
- Do not use Berry College’s name to promote or endorse any product, cause or political party or candidate.
- You are legally liable for what you post on your own site and on the sites of others. Individual bloggers have been held liable for commentary deemed to be proprietary, copyrighted, defamatory, libelous or obscene (as defined by the courts). Be sure that what you post today will not come back to haunt you.
- You are welcome and encouraged to link from your social media site to the Berry College Web site, www.berry.edu
Understanding Facebook and Twitter Lingo
- Profile Page – a personal page that is customizable for each individual user
- Fan Page – stand alone page; mimics the profile page of a person but designed for an entity rather than an individual; follower are called Fans
- Group – collections of persons under a common purpose
- Cause – collections of persons who may join under a common cause, usually to collect donations.
- Twitter is a form of micro-blogging. Posting on Twitter is called Tweeting
- People who receive your posts are called Followers
- Use Twitter to release brief news in 140 characters or less to your Followers.
- When providing links in your Tweet, use URL shorteners such as tinyurl.com