These guidelines are developed to help university students, faculty and staff who manage or contribute to the affiliated social media accounts that speak on behalf of ESU make appropriate decisions when managing and/or developing social media initiatives on behalf of the university.
Application and Notification
In order to represent any department, student organization or sanctioned function of the University on a social media platform, that department, organization or entity must first submit an application to the office of university relations social media page found at www.esu.edu/social. It is also necessary that all entities seeking or currently maintaining a presence on social media meet with a representative from university relations to review important aspects of their account including but not limited to account goals, ongoing maintenance, and other general rules as set forth in this procedure.
Before beginning new social media accounts, share your content ideas and departmental goals with university relations. If your department/division is unable to commit to posting content and responding to comments daily, consider working with university relations on ways to have a social media presence on the main university accounts. You are the best person to tell your story, and university relations will help tell that story to a greater audience than a single department is capable of creating, particularly in the short term while getting started. In instances when adequate account management and supervision are not available, messaging/content developed by the department may be shared on the ESU’s main social media accounts. These accounts already have an established following of current students, prospective students, alumni, and the community at large. At the start of the spring 2019 semester @ESUniversity Twitter account had 7,900+ followers, the @ESUniversity Instagram account had 5,600+ followers, and @EastStroudsburgUniversity had 21,300+ likes on Facebook. These accounts are continually growing.
All institutional accounts must be overseen by the head of the department. This person is responsible for all content and behavior of any individual posting the messages. The department head should approve all messaging on the accounts even if day-to-day tasks are delegated to others, such as other department personnel and/or students, and will be contacted in the event there is a problem with the account or a posting. A secondary account administrator must also be identified.
Applications to begin or to review a social media account can be found on ESU’s social media page, www.esu.edu/social.
Before you Begin Posting
- All social media accounts affiliated with ESU are property of ESU. They must be managed by ESU personnel and/or students.
- All social media accounts affiliated with ESU must be public. Accounts must be public pages, easily viewable to everyone whether they “follow” the account or not.
- Security of social media accounts is a priority. Login information must never be shared with any person or entity outside a department/organization and the office of university relations. Any changes or updates to login information must be shared with the office of university relations.
- University Relations must be made aware, at the initial stage, of any work with an outside person(s) or vendors used to produces organic or paid content. All outward facing messages must be guided by the University’s overall brand message. All digital advertising that is created to post on social media by a department or designate must also be approved by the office of university relations to ensure brand standards are being followed. University Relations has the resources to help ensure the best reach and conversion for each post.
- Before you start a social media account, have a specific purpose and action steps for how to use it. Too many web pages and social media accounts are launched but then not maintained as priorities shift. If you decide you no longer want to use an account, don't simply abandon it. Identify that you are shutting down, gradually move your users to ESU’s official social media accounts, then deactivate the account. Few things are worse to the public than seeing a web page or social media account that is live but far out of date. University Relations will periodically audit all accounts for content and activity, and will take steps to shut down social media accounts that are inactive for 90 or more days.
Rules for Content
- Always remember that you are representing your department, program or organization at East Stroudsburg University, and must do so in a professional capacity. Your behavior online will be evaluated as if you were speaking in public representing your department and all relevant policies on behavior and decorum apply.
- Do not use University accounts for personal purposes: East Stroudsburg University social media accounts are for the dissemination of official university content and should not be used for personal purposes.
- Link back to the university: It is required that each affiliated social media account link back to the ESU website or a particular ESU department web page.
- Protect the institutional voice: Your posts should always remain professional in tone and in good taste. No department social media account should act as if they represent ESU as a whole, especially on subject matter for which they have little or no administrative responsibility. Consider this when naming accounts, selecting a profile picture or icon, and selecting content to post.
- ESU’s main social media accounts are the official accounts of the university and the only accounts afforded the right to release information concerning campus alerts. Affiliated accounts may share ESU’s official approved messages.
- Icon or Images: All icons or images used to identify affiliated social media accounts must be approved by the office of university relations. Personal photos are not acceptable as the photo should represent the department the account is associated with.
- Posting Length: All posts should be relatively short and direct. Only in rare cases is a social media outlet the appropriate place to share lengthy, detailed correspondence.
- Non-ESU Posts: East Stroudsburg University does not allow posting of commercial content or solicitation for participation in private 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. Non-ESU posts will be deleted.
- Offensive Posts: Offensive or abusive posts should be removed immediately. Account administrators should note the source of the post and consult with their next level supervisor and the office of university relations to determine if additional action is necessary.
- Confidentiality: Remember to always protect student and employee confidentiality when posting to social media. If the information you are posting could not be shared publicly, such as in front of a large group of people, then it likely does not belong on a social media post.
- Personnel Recruitment: While social media continues to evolve as an effective tool for advertising jobs and for 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 application, 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.
This social media policy is intended to be a living document, which will reflect East Stroudsburg University’s current need and may be adjusted to future changes in social media.