Social media has become an essential tool in the world of higher education. East Stroudsburg University recognizes the importance of social media in communication, outreach, and engagement with its stakeholders. Therefore, it has developed a social media procedure to guide the use of social media in the university.
This procedure applies to all social media accounts created or managed by East Stroudsburg University. This includes all social media accounts associated with university colleges, departments, programs, centers, and offices. Faculty, staff, and students operating university-affiliated social media accounts must adhere to this procedure.
Application and Account Creation for Department and Divisional Social Media Accounts
Each social media account will always have at least two faculty or staff moderators: one lead moderator and one backup moderator. A student may assist in helping manage the account but should not have the highest level of rights to the account or be a moderator of the account. Accounts should have an ESU employee email address so the account is not tied to a personal email address.
The Office of Marketing and Communications must approve all social media accounts. Applications will be submitted online. The Office of Marketing and Communications will follow up with the individual to confirm their application status. Individuals must register all social media accounts with a faculty or staff university email address (@esu.edu).
Marketing and Communications may delay the approval process if one or more of the following occurs:
- Media utilized to represent the account, such as a profile picture, cover photo, or biographical information, does not adhere to the institutional social media icons or photography of East Stroudsburg University (See approved social media icons).
- The account is not identified with a faculty or staff email address (@esu.edu).
- The purpose of the account is not clearly defined for a proper online presence.
- Content that does not align with the university's mission, values, and overall communication strategy.
Should a delay occur, Marketing and Communications will communicate directly by email for any discrepancies. Departments can adjust accordingly and resubmit their application.
Once approved, the social media moderators will have access to the following:
- The moderators will have an introductory meeting with the Office of Marketing and Communications to get started. Moderators will also receive opportunities to check in with Marketing and Communications (frequency of meetings TBD with moderators and department).
- The account is recognized as an affiliated account.
- The moderators will have an invitation to an online community with other ESU social media moderators to exchange opportunities, ideas, and best practices.
- The account can have the opportunity for it to be embedded on the website of their department/affinity page.
- Opportunity for content to be shared by the official East Stroudsburg University accounts when applicable.
In the introductory meeting, moderators will share their account details with the Office of Marketing and Communications, including their associated email, passwords, and usernames. This will ensure a contingency plan if the moderator leaves ESU unexpectedly or the Office of Marketing and Communications needs to help troubleshoot any issues at the moderator's request.
Affiliated accounts will re-apply every summer to maintain moderation, consistent branding, messaging, and other objectives related to the overall communication strategy.
Moderators must regularly maintain accounts and comply with all University policies. While there is no right or wrong answer for how often to update social media pages, posting two or three times per week is ideal, and once per week is a minimum. If an account remains inactive for over 90 days, the Office of Marketing and Communications will contact the relevant department or organization to discuss deactivating or terminating the account. The Office of Marketing and Communications will regularly review activity on affiliated accounts.
Content should follow ESU's Visual Identity Guidelines and copyright guidelines. Following guidelines and policies ensure a consistent, original social presence that allows ESU's identity to reach a broader audience.
When representing East Stroudsburg University on social media:
- Always protect student and employee confidentiality when posting to social media. If the information you post cannot be shared publicly or in front of a large group, it does not belong on a social media post.
- Posts should always remain professional in tone and good taste. No departmental account should act as if they represent ESU as a whole.
- Do not post for personal purposes. ESU social media accounts are for the dissemination of official university content.
- Do not post commercial content or solicitation for participation in private or educational studies on its social media accounts unless otherwise authorized in advance. This includes unsolicited discount offers to students, staff, and alumni, rental property availability, personal employment offers, random tagging of content, accounts, or pages unaffiliated with ESU events, partnerships or agreements, and similar activity. Fundraising solicitation requests other than those coming directly from ESU, an ESU-sponsored program, or approved for posting by the ESU Foundation are not allowed.
- ESU accounts should link to the ESU website or department page, such as the link in the bio of Instagram, the website link of the Twitter profile, and other similar locations on other platforms. Users may link ESU website pages in posts when links work in captions of the post (i.e., Facebook and Twitter).
- Images and videos on social media should follow accessibility best practices.
We encourage our followers and fans to post, comment, message, and interact with our social media and others in our digital community.
- A digital community creates trust and support for initiatives or events. However, all viewpoints are welcome, regardless of if they are favorable or unfavorable to ESU.
- Comments, posts, or messages made by visitors to the account or page do not reflect the opinions or policies of the university.
- An affiliated or official account may remove a comment or post that infringes an individual's or entity's rights, is duplicate or spam, or is phishing or scamming.
- Offensive or abusive posts should be removed immediately. Account moderators should note the source of the post and consult with their next-level supervisor and the Office Marketing and Communications to determine if additional action is necessary.
- The moderators may interact with positive conversation or comments in a reasonable tone and taste.
- Moderators should not participate in arguments or respond to negative comments and direct messages unless a moderator can provide information that may help resolve the issue.
Please contact the Office of Marketing and Communications for guidance or consultation on community engagement.
Related Work for Social Media Moderation
Moderator Succession Planning
- Active moderators should constantly monitor social media. If a social media account moderator is leaving the university or no longer wishes to be an account moderator, a new moderator should be identified immediately.
- For some platforms (Facebook and LinkedIn), this requires the removal of their profile as a moderator. Other platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram, require a password change.
- If you have an MFA (multi-factor authentication) enabled, ensure the authentication is changed to the new administrator by updating the MFA method or cell phone number.
- The Office of Marketing and Communications must also be notified should a change occur.
Suppose social media accounts are inactive, and a moderator cannot commit to social media activity. In that case, the Office of Marketing and Communications strongly suggests hiding a page or unpublishing/deactivating the page. Hackers can target unmonitored accounts to access information or begin posting spam/phishing content. Most social media outlets allow you to hide your profile from public view with the ability to reactivate it at a later date.
- How to unpublish a Facebook page.
- How to disable an Instagram account.
- How to temporarily deactivate or delete a Twitter account.
The Office of Marketing and Communications may reach out to the moderators of the account if they review an account that has been inactive for more than 90 days. The Office of Marketing and Communications will periodically review affiliated account activity.
ESU's main social media accounts are the university's official accounts and the only ones that can release information concerning campus alerts. Affiliated accounts may share ESU's official approved messages.
While social media continues to evolve as an effective tool for advertising jobs and recruiting candidates, it does not replace or otherwise eliminate the need to use the university’s existing recruitment system and processes for posting positions, collecting applications, conducting background checks, and making offers of employment and other related activities. Offers of employment should only be extended through existing and accepted processes and should not be communicated through social media.
All social media accounts affiliated with ESU are the property of ESU. They must be managed by ESU personnel.
Platform Terms of Service
The Terms and Community Guidelines bind all content and posts for that platform:
- Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
- Twitter Terms of Service
- LinkedIn User Agreement and Community Guidelines
Remember that all users, including administrators, are subject to the host site's Terms of Service (TOS). Communications made through social technology do not constitute legal or official notice to ESU, its agencies, faculty, or staff. References to third-party content or websites do not indicate endorsement or responsibility on behalf of the university.
If you have any concerns about the content posted on one of our social media accounts, please contact the Office of Marketing and Communications. Thank you for your assistance in creating a welcoming, interactive, and positive social media community.
This social media procedure is intended to be a living document that will reflect East Stroudsburg University's current needs and may be adjusted to future changes in social media.
Unsure if you should create a social media account for your department or office? Contact the Office of Marketing and Communications to schedule a meeting.