2.5.3: Social Media Policy
Social Media Policy
Spalding University recognizes that social media can be a very effective way to communicate, promote and brand Spalding University to multiple audiences across and outside of the University.
The University encourages its colleges, schools, programs, groups and other significant organizational units across campus to utilize social media and build enriching relationships with individuals who have or are developing an affinity for Spalding. However, social media can pose risks to the University’s confidential and proprietary information and can compromise compliance with rules, regulations and laws. This document is intended to help guide University employees in the use of social media for official University communications. These guidelines are not intended to apply to personal Internet and/or social media sites that have been created and are maintained by faculty and staff on their own time and without use of Spalding University technology or resources. Please note, official University accounts should not be used for personal promotion or gain.
Keep in mind other Spalding University policies
This document does not affect other University policies that might apply to use of social media including, but not limited to the Harassment policy, Acceptable Use policy, Workplace Violence policy and the Information Technology Privacy Statement. If your use of social media would violate any of the University’s policies in another forum, it will also violate them in an online forum.
Social Media Strategy
The Department of Marketing & Communications has a social media strategy for Spalding and supports the formal university-wide social media policy. Together the strategy and policy will ensure that communications on official Spalding social media accounts represent the institution’s best interests, serve to heighten public awareness, and engender goodwill.
Based on the specific strengths of social media as a method of communication and interaction, the Department of Marketing & Communications believes social media is an effective tool for increasing awareness, building loyalty and elevating Spalding’s reputation among key audiences.
Spalding University’s strategy is to:
- Increase brand awareness across social media channels;
- Boost brand engagement with our target audience across social media channels; and
- Increase interaction of our target audience with the Spalding University website.
While pursuing these strategic objectives, Spalding University will be:
- Increasing our presence across all social media platforms;
- Communicating a consistent message that promotes the Spalding University brand;
- Increasing traffic to the Spalding University website by sharing targeted messages;
- Identifying social media accounts that are active and phasing out accounts that are stagnant; and
- Offering continuing education opportunities to the Spalding University community to ensure they are telling our story, meeting brand guidelines and are aware of the latest developments across social media platforms.
University sanctioned social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you would like your program or department to be represented on Snapchat, please contact the Director of Marketing for the universal login information.
REQUIREMENTS FOR INITIATING AN OFFICIAL SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT
These are the requirements for initiating an official social media account:
- Before starting a social media site for your college or department, make sure you have approval from a supervisor, chair or dean of the department or college. Only Spalding University employees authorized by their department or college may be a “content owner” or “editor”” for University social media websites. This is to ensure that all institutional social media sites coordinate with other Spalding University sites and content.
- The supervisor, chair or dean of the department or college must notify the Department of Marketing & Communications, specifically the Director of Marketing, by email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Meet with a member of the Department of Marketing & Communications to discuss goals and to create a strategy that will help your college or department reach your objectives.
Assign two editors for every account plus the Department of Information Technology
Having multiple content owners or editors at all times for every social media account will ensure that the account can continue to thrive and be updated regularly, even if one/both of the existing editors is/are absent from the workplace for an extended period of time (i.e. vacation, medical leave, etc.), changes jobs or leaves the University. Graduate assistants and work-study students are not permitted to serve as editors of a social media site. Any deviations from this policy will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the Department of Marketing & Communications.
REQUIREMENTS FOR LAUNCHING AN OFFICIAL SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT
Spalding University’s social media policy centers on the designation of social media accounts as “official” or “unofficial” with the communications taking place on official Spalding social media accounts representing the best interests of the university.
A campus group (a college, school, department, program, team, club or other organization) that wants to start a social media account must meet the following requirements before launching an official Spalding University social media account:
- Provide your site information, account editors, e-mail addresses and passwords (Must use Spalding e-mail address for Spalding social media accounts).
- Add “Catherine Spalding” (the centralized administration account) as an administrator to your Facebook page email@example.com. *The “Catherine Spalding” centralized account will act as the sole administrator of all official Spalding University accounts.
- Join the closed Facebook group for all SU editors.
- Add Spalding University social media disclosure to applicable sites. (See page 6.)
- Discuss future events or initiatives that may require social media promotion or advertising.
Officially recognized Spalding University social media accounts receive the following benefits:
- A “like” or “follow” by the primary Spalding University account;
- Inclusion on the list of official Spalding University social media accounts appearing on the Spalding University Media Directory page (TBD);
- An invitation to continuing education opportunities; and
- An invitation to the closed Spalding University Editor Facebook group.
Keep your pages active
Official Spalding University social media accounts must remain active. If you are unable to meet the minimum number of posts, share content from other official Spalding University accounts.
Facebook: Minimum of 2 posts per week
Twitter: Minimum of 4 posts per week
Instagram: Minimum of 1 post per week
Please note: Do not link social media accounts. (For example: Do not have your Instagram auto post to Twitter) Linked posts do not count towards the minimum number of posts.
Make it easy for people to find your site
To maximize exposure and participation with your social media site, make it as easy as possible for people to find it when searching online. Use this primary hashtag: #SpaldingU
Try to avoid only using acronyms when naming your site and utilize “Spalding University” or an appropriate derivative as approved by the Department of Marketing & Communications. For example, @SpaldingSchoolofNursing is clearer to your potential audience, instead of an acronym like @SUSON.
Use of Spalding University logos
If you are creating a social media site on behalf of Spalding University, official logos and graphics that represent and adhere to established usage guidelines must be used. The Department of Marketing & Communications can provide guidance regarding graphics and design for your social media site. Do not use official logos, trademarks or any other University images on personal social media accounts. Do not use Spalding University’s name to promote a product, cause, or political party or candidate.
Posting on behalf of Spalding University
In addition to the general guidelines discussed above, employees creating or posting on social media sites on behalf of Spalding University should remember:
Make sure you have all the facts before you post. Do not assume; research, data reporting, and analysis made public on the Web should be verified for accuracy. Cite and link to your sources whenever possible to build the trust of your community. Spell-check content before posting. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly.
If your program or department would like to utilize paid advertising, please contact the Department of Marketing & Communications, specifically the Director of Marketing, by email firstname.lastname@example.org to determine if the paid ads should come from the University account or the program/department account. Any paid advertising from the program/department page should be reviewed by the Department of Marketing & Communications to ensure that the message is consistent and on brand with University communications.
Realize your posts are public
If content you are considering posting gives you pause, then pause before posting it. If you have any questions about the appropriateness of the material you are posting to a University social media site, please check with your supervisor and the marketing department.
Adhere to copyright and fair use law
When posting, be aware of the copyright and intellectual property rights of others and the University. Always cite sources and references and, whenever possible, link back to them. If in doubt, please refer to the Copyright section of the University Handbook or General Counsel.
Keep confidential matters private
Do not post proprietary information about Spalding University, including information about students, alumni, or employees. Remember that most records related to students are protected from disclosure under the federal law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as well as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Disclosing any personally identifiable student records through social media sites is a violation of FERPA or HIPAA.
It should be obvious that you work for Spading University if you are posting as part of your job. If you are posting as a representative of Spalding University, your posts are viewed as representing the views of Spalding University, so make sure to post responsibly and with respect to others in your community. Your posts directly reflect on the University.
Responding to negative comments
If your page receives negative comments, respond in a timely manner but be thoughtful in your response. If the communication becomes aggressive, avoid being defensive and never debate. Please be respectful of other people’s opinions providing them with facts rather than trying to change their view. If you have a concern about a student, former student, alumni or a colleague’s response online, report it to the Director of Marketing, Dean of Students, Office of Alumni Relations, Human Resources, or your supervisor. If your page receives negative comments, Spalding University employees who serve as account editors reserve the right to delete comments that are vulgar, defamatory, incite violence or are otherwise hurtful or hateful speech directed at either individuals or groups.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you receive a question you cannot answer or if you see incorrect information about Spalding University, contact the Department of Marketing & Communications. If you have a technical issue with respect to your site, contact the IT Department.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The Spalding University Director of Marketing will monitor and conduct semi-annual reviews of official social media accounts to ensure compliance with this social media policy.
These are the items to be reviewed:
- Date of last post,
- The average number of posts and updates per week (See page 3); and
- Total number of interactions with fans or followers (number of posts, comments, and likes) .
SANCTIONS AND NON-COMPLIANCE
Non-compliance with this policy may result in any or all of these consequences:
- Limitation or revocation of individual or departmental rights to use or participate in University-related social media;
- Removal of posts or social media accounts; or,
- Corrective or disciplinary actions or sanctions, as defined in the University Handbook.
Spalding University social media disclaimer
NOTE: The following disclaimer should be placed on all Spalding University social media sites.
Spalding University encourages interaction among users on our social media sites but is not responsible for content published by external users on any official University websites, pages or affiliates. Due to the public nature of these pages being utilized for public comment by other users, the views expressed by guest posters may or may not reflect that of the University or original author and the university is not liable for such content.
Spalding University reserves the right, but is not obligated, to remove comments or posts that: are racist, sexist, abusive, profane, violent, obscene or otherwise considered to be “spam”; that advocate illegal activity, include falsehoods, contain commercial solicitations, are wildly off-topic, or cannot be translated to English using free online tools; that libel, incite, threaten or make ad hominem attacks on Spalding University students, employees, guests or others. Spalding University also reserves the right to remove comments or posts that are deemed negative or offensive by the page’s editors. Violators may be banned from the page.
Personal social media disclaimer
Keep personal and professional accounts as separate as possible and label them respectively. What is appropriate for one account may not be for the other and judgment should be used when determining where posts belong. Controversial topics, personal opinions, political views, and your religious beliefs, for example, do not belong on a University-sponsored account. A personal social media presence of an employee of Spalding University should state that the views are those of the employee and do not reflect those of the University.