Social Media Guidelines
Our audience’s primary source of information is more than just the Internet, it is social media. NC Wesleyan represents itself on several social media platforms – namely Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and YouTube. Likewise, it is a primary goal for the University to be completely mobile-ready in order for our students and following audience to remain connected and up-to-date.
It is preferred that all departments, divisions and student groups promote themselves under the official NC Wesleyan account for each of these platforms. If you are an authorized contributor to any of the University’s pages, or if you must maintain a separate social media presence, you are required to adhere to the following guidelines.
- Any content (imagery, video, text) that cannot be approved by the NC Wesleyan Marketing Department must support the integrity of the school and reflect our core values.• Make certain photos and videos meet the brand requirements in terms of quality and composition.• Never tag and/or post an image or video of a student or faculty member without their expressed permission, unless the context of the post clearly implies such permission (i.e. President Evan Duff speaks at Orientation).
Common Social Networks:
Currently, the most common social networks within this rapidly changing media space include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, Flickr and blogs.
Applications developed for any mobile devices that use the University’s name, wordmark or other institutionally identifiable information fall under these guidelines.
The Importance of Guidelines:
While social media is a fast, inexpensive and effective way of communicating and marketing the University, there are drawbacks. One of the major issues with social media is anything that is posted in public can be held against the University. The severity spans from the less alarming impact of posting boring, outdated or inaccurate content to the more serious post that could damage the University brand and image irrevocably.
Faculty, staff and students who manage social media as representatives of Wesleyan are responsible for following all normal expectations for adherence to these social media guidelines, as well as for professional behavior as representatives of the University.
Any social media account that includes any variation of the University name – NC Wesleyan, NC Wesleyan University, North Carolina Wesleyan, North Carolina Wesleyan University, NCWU, etc. are considered university-owned accounts.
If you maintain a personal blog or presence on another social media site but there is no indication that you represent NC Wesleyan by title, text or photos, other than naming your place of business, you need not consult these guidelines. It is very important to keep personal social media accounts personal without identifying information about the University.
NC Wesleyan Employees:
Employees using social media to communicate about the University or commenting on an NC Wesleyan social media site should be mindful that any statements made could be attributed to the University. Employees should use discretion before posting or commenting. Under no circumstances, shall communication include any form of profanity, obscenity or copyright violations. Likewise, confidential or non-public information shall not be shared.
If there is any question or hesitation regarding the content of a potential comment or post, it is better not to post. Improper posting and use of social media tools may result in removal of the account.
NC Wesleyan recognizes that its employees have a right to use social media on a personal basis in their lives outside of their professional activities and that such may include the right to exercise freedom of speech. At the same time, NC Wesleyan encourages its employees to use common sense when posting to social media sites, especially if referring to work-related activities. In online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional, can become blurred. By identifying yourself as an NC Wesleyan employee, you are creating perceptions about your expertise and the authority by which you are communicating. Always represent the interests of NC Wesleyan in a professional manner. When posting on official NC Wesleyan sites in an unofficial capacity, but about NC Wesleyan activities, employees are advised to make it clear that the opinions expressed are their own and do not necessarily represent the University’s official position.
The Office of Marketing and Communications maintains the official NC Wesleyan University presence on various social media websites, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok and Flickr. The Office of Marketing and Communications also maintains the approved list of all social media sites affiliated with NC Wesleyan University. Social media guidelines are approved by the President of the College and Vice Presidents.
The NC Wesleyan Social Media & PR Manager, in the Office of Marketing and Communications, directs the strategic use of social media for the university and is responsible for creating, maintaining and overseeing all of NC Wesleyan’s authorized social media accounts.
The Social Media & PR Manager’s Role:
- Oversees, authorizes and confirms decisions regarding social media sites
- Directs employees and students on best-usage practices
- Evaluates and approves requests for new social media platforms
- Serves as administrator for all social media accounts and sets up page administrators, editors and contributors on NC Wesleyan’s social media accounts
- Maintains a list of social media domains, active account logins and passwords for the University
- Changes passwords to maintain control and account security
- Leads social media messaging development with Marketing staff
- Guides Marketing staff through social media planning and training
- Monitors conversations, tone, style and sentiment on all social media platforms
- Responsible for collection and implementation of performance metrics and establishing goals
Information posted on social media is instantaneous and can be shared and spread to millions of viewers worldwide within minutes. Given this reach and the risk associated with it, the President’s Cabinet (President and VPs), require all new social media accounts to be reviewed and approved by the Office of Marketing and Communications prior to going live. The intent is not to censor, but to manage risk.
The NCWU Marketing Department maintains a comprehensive directory of all University-affiliated social media accounts representing departments, clubs, programs or other university entities. In order to be recognized as an official University account and use the Wesleyan name, the account must be registered with the Marketing Department. To request a University-affiliated account, or register an existing account, fill out the “Social Media Account Request Form.” Questions can be directed to Stephen Mann, Social Media & PR Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Social media account requests must come from an NCWU faculty or staff member.
Students: Please contact your faculty or staff advisor about submitting a request.
Do I Need a Separate Account?:
There are situations where it makes sense to have multiple social media accounts that support one organization. We believe this strategy works best for NC Wesleyan by providing us with a way to communicate different information to various audiences under the same parent account – North Carolina Wesleyan University.
Before creating a new account on behalf of your organization, club, team or department, please ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you trying to reach an audience that is different than the primary North Carolina Wesleyan University account?
- Will your content be different than what is included on the main account?
- Who will manage the account and do they have time to do so?
- Where will you gather new content?
- With what frequency will you post?
After answering these questions, if you believe that you have a need for a separate, new social media account, please complete the Social Media Account Request Form and submit it to the Marketing Department. Your request will be reviewed and a decision rendered within one week of submission.
If approved, it will be added to the social media directory. It is important to share your account information with NC Wesleyan’s Office of Marketing and Communications so that all social media communities and accounts can stay connected online.
New Social Media Accounts
Any social media group related to the school should be titled with the first words being “NC Wesleyan” to ensure consistency of brand and high search engine rankings. If character limitations inhibit you, please use “NCWU.” Don’t forget to include a statement acknowledging your affiliation with the University.
At least two administrators are suggested so that a backup is in place should the club or organization need to access the account while their designated primary administrator is unavailable. The primary administrator should be an employee of the University or be supervised by an employee of the University, including students. Both administrators must provide their name and contact information to the Office of Marketing and Communications. Contact information should be updated whenever a change occurs in designated account administrators. There should be smooth leadership transitions from semester-to-semester and year-to-year.
The site administrators will ensure that:
- All content is appropriate, accurate and timely
- Meaningful content is updated frequently on the account– if content is not fresh, beneficial or informative, you will lose followers and the need for the account is diminished.
- Appropriate consent is obtained and documented for content including words, graphics, photos, video, audio, images, PowerPoint presentations, artwork and any other included elements.
- If your social media account includes the likeness (photo, video or audio) of any member of the general public, please obtain the individual’s consent.
- All errors are to be immediately corrected
- Offered links are reviewed and deemed appropriate.
An important part of the role of the primary administrator is to monitor the site daily. In the event that someone posts content that contains profanity or is personally threatening, it is NC Wesleyan’s policy to remove such content and the user may be blocked from our sites.
Facebook: NC Wesleyan’s Facebook pages have a profanity filter in place that will filter and hide any comments or wall posts. However, page reviews are not filtered and cannot be hidden or deleted. An inappropriate page review should be reported directly to the Office of Marketing and Communications for removal. If a user continues to post inappropriate content to any of our pages, you should report this to the Social Media & PR Manager, Stephen Mann (email@example.com).
Twitter: Tweets that mention @-mention any of NC Wesleyan’s accounts and contain inappropriate content cannot be deleted or hidden. In this case, the tweet can be reported to the Office of Marketing and Communications and, if warranted, the user can be blocked.
Instagram: Inappropriate comments can be deleted by swiping to the right on the comment itself and selecting the red “trashcan” icon.
One of the goals of your presence should be to increase followers. A growing number of people visiting your site indicates what you are posting is relevant and has an audience. Consequently, if the number of people following your account does not increase, you need to change the content, graphics, etc. of what you are posting to try to increase viewership. If over the course of six months, your numbers do not have a steady increase, this may indicate that the content is not reaching your target audience and needs to be updated or removed.
The Office of Marketing and Communications will periodically review all University-owned social media accounts for content and activity. If, at this time, it is deemed that an account is inactive or irrelevant, it may be removed at the Office of Marketing and Communications’ discretion.
Social Media Content
Adhere to the University Brand:
If you are creating a social media account on behalf of your department or unit, please use official logos and graphics that represent and adhere to brand guidelines. This information can be obtained on our website. If you have any questions, contact the Social Media & PR Manager.
Icons and Profile Pictures:
For icons and profile pictures, use only the specific images provided in the Brand Standard Guide. If you do not have a copy, please visit our website. For multiple social media accounts, use the same photo to make it easy for users to identify you.
Does It Pass the 6 O’clock News Test?:
If the content of your message would not be acceptable for face-to-face conversation, over the telephone or in another medium, it will not be acceptable for a social networking site. Ask yourself, would I want to see this published in the newspaper, online or on television tomorrow or 10 years from now?
Be Aware of Liability:
You are personally responsible for the content you publish on blogs, wikis or any other form of user-generated content. Individual bloggers have been held liable for commentary deemed to be copyright infringement, defamatory, proprietary, libelous or obscene (as defined by the courts).
Think Before You Post:
There’s no such thing as a “private” social media site. Search engines can turn up posts and pictures years after the publication date. Comments can be forwarded or copied. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post.