Social Media Guidelines - NIU - Communications and Marketing

Social Media

Northern Illinois University
Division of University Relations – Department of Communications and Marketing

Social Media Guidelines
08/2011

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Divisions, colleges or departments launching social media profiles or developing mobile applications must notify the university's Social Media Specialist in the Department of Communications & Marketing in advance of finalization/deployment of any new social media profile or mobile application. The Department of Communications & Marketing maintains a comprehensive database and inventory of all university-related social media profiles.

Contact Information for Communications and Marketing social media:

Brad Hoey
Director
753-6667
bhoey@niu.edu

Holly Nicholson
Social Media Specialist
753-6692 
hnicholson@niu.edu

socialmedia@niu.edu

Considerations prior to launching a social media profile/page or developing a mobile application:

  • Will the initiative promote the mission of NIU Social Media?
  • Will the initiative add value to the university’s social media community, or will it better serve in collaboration with an existing university social media initiative?
    • Any new profile should add value to the NIU community and not compete with or duplicate another existing university affiliated initiative.
    • NIU Mobile is the university's official mobile app and is strategically managed by the Division of University Relations. Requests for module development in NIU Mobile should be submitted to NIUmobile@niu.edu for consideration.
  • Is the initiative sustainable? Will staff be available to monitor and respond to feedback as well as provide fresh content in a timely manner?
    • Each social media profile must have a minimum of two administrators who will be included in a database maintained by the Department of Communications & Marketing. The Department of Communications and Marketing should be notified in case of administrator changeover.
  • Are protocols in place for utilizing the proposed social media profile/site in the event of a university emergency?  Have those protocols been created in advance and coordinated with the university’s Department of Communications & Marketing?

BEST PRACTICES

Be authentic

  • Be open about your identity and professional affiliations.
  • Keep deletions to a minimum; only remove content that is offensive or is clearly spam.
  • Admit mistakes and be upfront and prompt with corrections.

Be sensible

  • Consider search engine optimization when creating a username, and be prepared to stick with it. Some sites won’t let you change a username once it is set.
  • Check for accuracy before posting. Make sure you have proper permissions to post written content, images, and videos. Be careful not to post confidential information.
  • Use proper etiquette – be constructive and respectful, don’t speak poorly of other universities or institutions, don’t self-promote, don’t spam.
  • Be thoughtful about controversial or volatile topics. Many times it may be best to leave them out of the conversation.
  • Faculty and Staff are encouraged to consider the consequences of networking with students on personal social media sites.

Be vigilant

  • Questions and concerns (as well as compliments) should receive quick responses: an appropriate goal is to respond within 3 hours.
  • Keep social media profiles/pages updated with fresh content. If you are no longer able to maintain and monitor the page, assign the task to another staff member or delete the profile/page (please notify the Department of Communications and Marketing if the profile/page is deleted).

Be interesting

  • Use a natural and conversational tone.
  • Post a variety of content using multiple media.