SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY AND BEST PRACTICES
Marietta College embraces the responsible use of social media to communicate and build relationships with prospective and current students, alumni, employees, parents and community members. The College acknowledges the open and ever-changing purposes of social media, which can blend, at times, personal and professional roles. The College supports free and open expression and the use of social media as a tool to accelerate teaching and learning.
This policy applies to all social media postings on an institutional site or as a representative of Marietta College on a non-institutional site. Page administrators reserve the right to remove user-generated content or comments in accordance with this policy for the safety and security of the College and our audiences.
The same laws, professional expectations and guidelines for interacting with students, parents, alumni, donors, media and other Marietta College constituents apply online as they do in the real world. Employees can be liable for anything they post to social media sites in accordance with College policies and the Terms of Service of the host site. This policy and best practices for engagement are designed for employees participating in social media on behalf of the College.
POLICY FOR OFFICIALLY POSTING ON BEHALF OF MARIETTA COLLEGE
All proposals to create official Marietta College social media accounts must be submitted to the Digital Content Specialist for approval prior to creation and inclusion in the social media directory. All social media accounts created on behalf of the College must be linked to a department’s administrative email account or an employee’s Marietta e-mail account. An employee may never use a personal email account to establish a College-related social media account. More than one College employee must have administrative access to the account. Administrative access will be terminated upon the employee’s separation from employment, reassignment to another job or for disciplinary reasons.
Social media accounts created on behalf of Marietta College are the sole property of the College. If a College department, club or organization account is linked to an individual person, that person relinquishes all rights to the account, unless they work with the digital content specialist to transfer ownership of the account.
Additionally, all social media sites, new and existing, must follow outlined branding and best practices guidelines. Official accounts are prohibited from:
- Posting content that violates city, state or federal laws and regulations
- Posting or commenting on anything related to legal matters, ongoing investigations or litigation
- Using the College brand or name to endorse any view, product, private business, cause or political candidate
- Representing personal opinions as College-endorsed views or policies Social media account administrators and the College’s Office of Communication and Brand Management team reserve the right to review and remove inappropriate content.
Use of the Marietta College Name and Logo
- “Marietta College” is a registered trademark and the exclusive intellectual property of the College. The Marietta College name, logo or any other College images or iconography may not be on personal, organizational or departmental sites in a way that promotes a product, cause, or political party or candidate. Do not edit or modify logos.
- Brand guidelines for Marietta College logos must be followed at all times. Click here for more information about using College logos. Any questions related to usage should be directed to the Office of Communication and Brand Management.
- Anyone responding to media inquiries must first contact and follow the direction of the Vice President for Communication and Brand Management or the Director of Communications.
- All crisis and/or emergency communications will be generated by the College’s crisis communication team, and will be posted on the main Marietta College Facebook and Twitter feeds with links to additional information.
- Departmental social media sites may never independently post emergency information without central coordination with College officials.
- Posting sensitive or proprietary information about Marietta or personal, medical or financial information about students, alumni or employees is prohibited.
- Sound ethical judgment should be exercised, and College policies and federal requirements, such as FERPA, HIPAA, NCAA and Title IX, must be followed. If a user is unclear about how these laws and regulations apply, he or she should consult the digital content specialist before posting such information.
Respect Copyright and Fair Use
- Copyright and intellectual property rights of others and of the College must be observed.
Be Aware of Liability
All social media users are responsible for what they post on their own sites and on the sites of others. Social media users have been held liable for commentary deemed to be copyright infringement, defamatory, threatening, proprietary, libelous, or obscene (as defined by the courts). Posts must be true, accurate and helpful and not expose the College or the user to legal liability.
BEST PRACTICES FOR MANAGING A MARIETTA COLLEGE ACCOUNT
Make sure that your posts are accurate and factual. It is better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly. Spelling and grammar are extremely important when representing Marietta College —double check everything you post.
Timeliness is one of the expectations of social media. Be prepared to move quickly in response to new developments and announcements with relevant information on your site.
Accept and Monitor Comments and Replies
Social media is, and should be, a dialogue, not a monologue. Understand that not all comments and replies will be positive, and respond to negative comments professionally and by providing any additional information that may help resolve the issue. Users may post comments and start dialogue that has little to do with the post in question. Regularly monitor and respond to comments and remove any inappropriate comments or advertising for products or services not associated with the College.
Social media presences require diligent planning, managing interactions and content creation. 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 jumping into social media at this time. An account with infrequent posts and low quality content is a detriment to your department or organization as well as the College.
Photographs should be high quality and sized appropriately for posting online. Photos from cell phones and tablets can be of acceptable quality as long as they are not blurry or pixelated. Photos should not have logos from other competitor institutions. Photos of non-enrolled minors should not be posted without written parent or guardian consent. If contacted and asked to remove a photo by an individual for any reason, the photo should be removed promptly.
STEPS TO SET UP A MARIETTA COLLEGE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT
- Define your goals and scope of the account.
- Who is the audience?
- Can you devote an hour per day creating content and managing the account?
- What content can you create and what will need to be student-driven?
- What network will be used?
- What will the name be? (You can check availability: http://namechk.com)
- Set up a meeting with the digital content specialist to discuss your goals and the best social media networks to use.
- The digital content specialist will not manage the account, but is simply a backup if login information is forgotten or in the event of an emergency.
- Accounts can only be registered to faculty and staff members and must use their Marietta.edu email addresses. Any account using the name, logo, or likeness of Marietta College cannot be registered to a student.
- Register for the account and start posting content. Only follow other appropriate users, nothing that reflects negatively on Marietta College or does not fit our brand.
- Once at least 5 good posts are made you should begin advertising the account, work with the digital content specialist to coordinate promotions.