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Social Media Guidelines for Owens Community College


Guidelines for College social media accounts

Online social media outlets offer amazing opportunities to share knowledge, connect with others and build excitement. Owens Community College supports participation in these communities.

Creating Social Media Pages and Accounts
If employees want to create a presence for their departments, events or groups on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, please contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at (567) 661-7421 or (567) 661-2692 before starting the page(s) for tips and advice. The Office of Marketing and Communications encourages College departments to be involved in social media and wants to support those efforts.

The following guidelines apply to:

  • the maintenance of College (office, department, program, school, event, etc.) social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter.
  • participation on public sites or your personal site(s) when posting on behalf of Owens.

Guidelines to follow:

Choose your vehicle and know your audience. Social media works best when it is part of an official communication plan. When sharing information on social media sites, make sure the vehicle and audience are appropriate and the messages relate back to written marketing and communication goals.

Be connected. If you create an official Owens social media site or video for posting on sites such as YouTube, please contact the Office of Marketing and Communications for an approved logo and other images and to ensure coordination with other Owens sites and content.

Get recognized. If you would like to have your Owens site (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) listed on the Official Owens Social Media site at www.owens.edu/socialmedia, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications. We encourage departments to register their sites with the office so they can be included in official College communications.

Be thoughtful. If you have questions about whether it is appropriate to write about something or post a photo or video, check with your supervisor. The Office of Marketing and Communications can also help you in this area.

Be transparent. Be honest about your identity.

Be accurate. Make sure you have all the facts before you post. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly.

Be relevant. Do not publish to publish, but publish as relevant. Find a happy medium where fans are engaged, but not annoyed.

Be a valued member. When sharing information about Owens on social media sites, make sure the vehicle and audience are appropriate. Self-promotion can be viewed negatively. Build a relationship with the audience by sharing information with them before the general public. Give them a reason to go to you for information.

Share. If you see a news article that would be interesting and relevant to your friends, share it. Try to solve a problem for your audience. Consider hosting a contest or a poll.

Don’t assume. Don’t know what your audience wants to hear or see? Ask. Tailor your messaging to them. Don’t talk at them. Talk with them.

Have one voice. Fit your tone to your social media vehicle, message and program/department/etc. identity. Social media users tend to respond to conversational, engaging posts.

Encourage dialogue and monitor comments. Monitor and participate in the conversation. Doing so will keep it going, something that builds community.

Be responsive. If a question is directed toward you via the social media page, try to reply in a timely manner.

Be respectful and think before you post. Search engines are powerful things. Post with the knowledge that your comments and posts can be found in search engines, even if you are posting on a “private” site and even after you delete them. Your comments may also be forwarded or shared without your consent. If you are passionate about a topic, do not post until you are calm. Never post when you are angry.

Maintain confidentiality. Do not post confidential or proprietary information about Owens, its students, its employees or its alumni. Follow College policies and federal requirements, such as FERPA. As a general guideline, do not post anything that would not be available to the general public.

Be mindful of Board Policies and College Procedures. As an employee participating in social media, be mindful of Board Policies and College Procedures with respect to solicitation, ethics, public records and standards of conduct.

Respect College time and property. College computers and your work time are for College-related business. Sometimes it will be appropriate for you to follow and comment on Owens-related events on social media. Maintain personal sites on your own time using non-Owens computers.

Be aware of liability. You are legally liable for what you post on your own site and on the sites of others. Do not post information or content that could be deemed proprietary, copyrighted, defamatory, libelous or obscene.

Do not use the Owens logo or make endorsements. Do not use the Owens logo or images without permission from the Office of Marketing and Communications. Do not use the Owens name to promote any product, cause or candidate. Exceptions include sanctioned community partnerships.

Respect copyright and fair use. Always give people credit for their work and make sure you have the right to use something, with attribution, before you publish.

In general do no remove posts or comments made by others. Contact the Office of Marketing and Communication for advice. The general recommendation is to, whenever possible, respond to the post instead of deleting it. Do not delete a post unless it contains derogatory language, is libelous, is threatening or is obscene.

Place a Safe Environment Policy on your College page. We suggest: Please respect this online environment and keep your comments truthful, respectful and fair. Derogatory, libelous, threatening, solicitous or obscene comments will be removed.

Owens Community College Official Social Media Pages