Keystone College Policies
Social Media Protocol
Social media has changed the way we communicate – both as an institution and as individuals. With tools such as Facebook, Twitters, blogs, Instagram, and Flickr, anyone with an Internet connection can create a dynamic web presence, update it wherever and whenever, and share content instantly. Social media has given Keystone the opportunity to engage in conversations with students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and friends, extending the Keystone community to the world.
Keystone supports the use of social media by employees to connect with students, fellow faculty and staff, alumni, and friends. This information provides guidance on how to do so effectively, safely, and within College guidelines.
Social media is constantly changing. As a result, this information will continue to evolve. Please email College Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions.
How Keystone is using social media
Keystone has been an eager adopter of social media. These tools allow the College to share what is happening on campus with the world, but more importantly, let us hear directly and immediately from students, faculty, staff, parents, and friends about what is important to them. This conversation is what makes social media so different from traditional forms of communications.
The primary tools Keystone is currently using are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Departments across campus are also successfully using social media to communicate with key audiences. Official social media presences are:
Keystone College Athletics primary official social media presences include:
1. Secure the approval of your supervisor or vice president.
If you wish to create a social media page or profile for your department, secure the approval of your supervisor or vice president and College Communications.
2. Define your goals/Create a Strategy
Before jumping in to social media, spend time to determine what you want to accomplish. Understanding this will help you choose the appropriate tool or tools, create relevant content, and understand what is the best way to reach your target audience. After you’ve thought about your content and goals, ask yourself: Can we reach our goals and our target audience through an already established social media presence? For example, can a tweet by @KeystoneCollege accomplish what we need?
3. Consider the following:
Goals: What are we looking to accomplish by becoming involved in social media?
- Who is your audience? What group(s) of people do you hope to reach?
- What results do you hope to achieve? Would you like to increase enrollment? Build community? Spread the word about programs?
- How can these results be measured?
- How does social media fit into your overall communications strategy?
4. Determine Messaging
- What are your department/school/office’s main messaging points?
- What core values/messaging do you wish to communicate through social media? What do you want your audience to remember about your group?
5. Choose Social Media Channels
- What channels are you already using?
- What other channels, if any, are you considering?
- Are the channels you are currently using working for your group?
- Which social networks are your audience using? Keep in mind that trends change.
- What channels will allow you to best connect/interact with your audience?
- Different platforms require different amounts of monitoring and interaction, but all social media is a time commitment. Do you have the time and availability to properly interact on the chosen platform(s)?
6. Brainstorm Content
- What information is of interest to your audience?
- What content is most engaging (i.e., initiates the most feedback, comments, etc.)?
- Do you already have appropriate content on hand? If not, how will you get/create it?
Social media strategy includes setting goals, determining messaging, selecting networks, brainstorming content, and evaluating your results. A strategy will prepare you for both the evaluation of new platforms and sites as they arise or help you decide when to discontinue use of other networks as they fall out of favor.
7. Identify a coordinator.
Determine who will be the primary person responsible for updating and monitoring your site. Ensure he/she has the time to check in on the site at least once a day. This does not need to take up a significant amount of time, but successful social media sites are updated frequently, enable easy engagement with followers, and adjust in response to timely events and problems. Assign and train a backup for this person.
All social media platforms have their own standards, styles, and expectations. By becoming a consumer of social media well before you become a producer, you will learn how these communities work, what content is of most interest, what other organizations are talking about your topic, etc. Spending a good amount of time on this step will help you better plan what unique contribution your voice can have.
9. Register your account
By October 31, 2014, all official social media accounts must register with College Communications. As part of the process, it is required that you provide:
- The name, phone number, and email address for the account manager and a backup manager.
- List of social media accounts
Official accounts are authorized to speak on behalf of a school, department, or other official entity at Keystone. You should only create an account in the name of a recognized Keystone entity if you are authorized to do so by both the highest ranking member of your team and College Communications.
You’re ready to communicate! Use traditional means, such as KC Morning, social media directory, and notices on the College’s web site, to notify your potential audiences that you have a social media presence. Also, notify others with social media presences and similar interests that your site is live – one of the best ways to do this is by linking to these sites from yours and mentioning them in your posts. Include easy-to-find links to your social media presence on your web site. College Communications will also share your link on our Social Media Directory.
Once your site is up and running, you will find some content is popular, some is ignored, and some is just plain cumbersome. All social media tools come with easy-to-use tracking tools, so you can see which posts are viewed and shared most, which generate comments, etc. Be prepared to re-align your strategy in response to who is viewing your site and how they are doing so.
12. Tell Us About It
Keystone has a broad audience of students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, friends, and more keeping in touch with the College via social media. Let us know what you are doing so we can help expand your reach by sharing it with these individuals, and also to make sure we are aware of the news and developments you are sharing with your audiences. We can all learn from each other, but it’s easy to slip into a vacuum when working on your own.
If there is a safety concern resulting from a post on an account you administer, contact Campus Safety immediately. After contacting Campus Safety, send an email to email@example.com with a screen shot of the post.
Address your posts to the audience you are trying to reach. Though it is important to have your own voice, keep unrelated personal information out of your official Keystone social media postings.
Use good judgment when creating posts; content can go anywhere once it is posted. When posting to official Keystone social media accounts, remember that what you post reflects the on the College. Be professional and respectful at all times and do not engage in arguments or extensive debates with naysayers. Keep it positive.
Pages and users should have positive interaction with one another. Keep sidebar conversations offline. For example, if a Keystone employee or another page administrator notices incorrect information, send a message or email to offer the correction. Posting it on the page discredits both the page(s) as well as the user.
Timing and Frequency
Mornings and weekend posts proves to receive the most views.
Social media presences require diligent care and attention. If you do not have the time or resources to check in on these sites at least a few minutes each day, and to post fresh content several times a week, reconsider your commitment to social media. Your site is only as interesting as your last post – if that post is several months old, visitors will consider it dated and uninteresting.
Check accounts at least daily, even over the weekend and holidays, as users are still active. Be a resource and answer questions by users.
Sometime your audience will post questionable content. Do not delete or ignore comments simply because they are negative. Act quickly and address the criticism. Contact the person to see how you can help resolve the issue.
Delete posts involving political endorsements or banter, unrelated outside links, mudslinging or defamation, advertisements and promotion of any sport, and spam.
All official Keystone social media accounts reserve the right to delete comments that are deemed inappropriate.
Facebook Pages vs. Groups
Pages are recommended as they are designed to be the official profile for colleges, programs, etc. Facebook groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share common interests and express their opinion. Groups are either private or public.
In the event of a crisis or campus emergency, social media is used as a vital communication channel. Information posted on social media channels during such an event should direct followers to the Keystone homepage and should follow the lead of the main Keystone College accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
While this is not the time to create unique content, social media can be utilized to share information with a broad audience. In the event of a crisis, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for approved messages.
Content Creation Checklist
Prior to posting on one of Keystone’s social media platforms, consider the following:
- Outlet: Is social media the best outlet for this content?
Social media may not be the most effective communications tools. Consider if this topic should be placed on the web or included in KC Morning instead.
- Audience: Is this written for the right audience?
Think about the tone and content. Posts for employees versus students can have the same message but should be written differently.
- Interest: Would I be interested in this post?
If you would like, comment, or retweet your own post, why would others? Be education, informational, and/or funny.
- Frequency: Am I saturating the audience and their news feed?
Make sure you’re not just “looking for something to post.” The audience appreciates seeing only the top-tier information rather than everything that happens.
- Timing: Am I submitting my posts at optimal times?
Posts that contain information about an event occurring too far in the future or that happened too far in the past may not resonate.
- Links: Did I link where appropriate?
Consider where you’re directing the audience. If a link is needed, make sure it takes them directly to where they need to be.
- Multimedia: Can I integrate a photo or video?
Posts with multimedia tend to get more interaction than those that are purely text. Include multimedia when possible.
- Spelling: Did I check the spelling and the grammar?
Sounds simple, but followers love to point out errors. Use spellcheck and watch the punctuation.
- Tags: Did I use official Keystone pages and hashtags? Did I use enough/too many?
Limit tags/hashtags to two or three per post. Tag other Facebook pages with larger following when appropriate to increase cross-promotion.