SUNY Broome uses social media to interact with a variety of audiences including current and prospective students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, community members and more. SUNY Broome encourages the appropriate use of social media as a method for communicating ideas and information as part of the educational mission. These guidelines govern employees of SUNY Broome and the behavior of individuals as they utilize a variety of social media technologies and are not limited to any specific media format.
Social media includes social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat, Tiktok, Pinterest and Flickr.
Office of Marketing and Communications
The Office of Marketing & Communications (MarCom) promotes SUNY Broome as a leading community college, and highlights its excellence in publications. Responsibilities range from advertising purchases, branding and identity management to website development, production of recruitment materials, news releases and feature stories.
MarCom also manages the primary SUNY Broome social media accounts and leads the community in strategic social media efforts. MarCom is not only responsible for managing the main SUNY Broome social media accounts, but ensures all SUNY Broome affiliated accounts provide engaging content that accurately reflects SUNY Broome and the mission of the college.
Social Media Account Management
Creating A New Account
Thinking about creating a new social media account for your department or program you represent? Your first step should be to email the MarCom team at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance. The team will help you determine the most effective way to get your message across whether it’s by creating a new account, utilizing an existing one or looking to other forms of communication.
SUNY Broome affiliated accounts must be maintained by an authorized employee of the college. While SUNY Broome students may create and draft content, SUNY Broome employees must be responsible for approving and publishing content for college channels and managing accounts, users and passwords. Affiliated accounts must notify MarCom and identify all administrator(s) for each account.
Account managers and contributors must adhere to all applicable College policies for property, privacy and civility outlined in the SUNY Broome Privacy Guidelines, Vision, Mission and Values and SUNY Broome Community College Civility Statement
SUNY Broome Employees engaging in the use of social media on behalf of the college or as individuals should regularly review our “Guidelines for Social Media Use”
SUNY Broome uses social media to supplement traditional press and marketing efforts. Employees are encouraged to share College news and events that are a matter of public record. Linking the information to the source is an effective way to promote the mission of SUNY Broome and build the community.
These guidelines apply to all employees when they are participating in social media for work and during personal online activities that may give the appearance that they are still speaking for SUNY Broome. When you are using social media for personal purposes you may be perceived as an agent/expert of SUNY Broome and it is necessary to make sure it is clear to the audience that you are not representing the position of the College or SUNY Broome policy.
When posting to a social media site, you should:
- Let your internet social networking do no harm to SUNY Broome or to yourself, whether you’re navigating those networks on the job or off.
- Consider whether or not the content of the messaging would be acceptable for face-to-face conversation, over the phone, or in another medium. If it is not acceptable for these types of communications, then it will not be acceptable for social media.
- Be aware of liability: You are personally responsible for the content you publish on blogs, wikis, or any other form of user-generated content. Individual bloggers have been held liable for commentary deemed to be copyright infringement, defamatory, proprietary, libelous, or obscene.
- The line between professional and personal business is sometimes blurred: Be thoughtful about your posting’s content and potential audiences. Be honest about your identity. If you identify yourself as a member of the SUNY Broome community, ensure your profile and related content are consistent with how you wish to present yourself to colleagues.
- Consider that there is no such thing as a “private” social media site. Comments can be forwarded or copied. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post. If you feel angry or passionate about a subject, it’s wise to delay posting until you are calm and clear-headed. Only post pictures that you would be comfortable sharing with the general public (current and future peers, employers, etc.).
- Use a disclaimer if you wish to publish content to any website outside of SUNY Broome and it has something to do with the work you do or subjects associated with SUNY Broome. An example of a disclaimer would be, “ The postings on this site are my own and do not represent SUNY Broome’s positions, strategies, or opinions.”
Social media branding guidelines are meant to help our followers instantly and easily recognize our accounts as officially associated with SUNY Broome. The graphic identity of an account that meets SUNY Broome’s social media standard is:
- Profile pictures, or avatars, should be the same across platforms. Your profile picture on Facebook should always match your profile picture on Twitter. Your audience will come to recognize your account by your profile picture, so it shouldn’t change.
- Cover photos, the horizontal images across the top of most social media profiles, should also match across platforms. Cover photos can be changed on a regular basis according to current events happening in your area of social media coverage, or something more general such as the seasons.
- Your account name or handle should also be the same across platforms. The format should match the following SUNY Broome “Name of Organization”
- Profile pictures and cover photos should consist of images (a photo or text-free logo) instead of words. Text on a profile picture is too small to see on a mobile device, which is often what your audience uses to access your content. Including the name of your department or group is unnecessary because it’s listed on your profile next to every post you publish across platforms.
- Cover photos are best as images as well. Consult the platform dimension specifications for appropriate sizes.
- While your accounts should be unified in name, cover photo and profile picture, no image should be the same as other accounts. Content should always relate to the college, your program, department or initiative. This will allow our audience members to differentiate between accounts and make it easier to find yours while scrolling through a feed.
Social Media Dashboard
Get the most out of your social media pages by getting listed on the official social media dashboard. In order to be recognized as an official College account and listed, accounts must meet the standards listed below. If your account(s) need to be added, or if you need help meeting these standards, please email email@example.com
Social Media Dashboard Guidelines
- Register your account(s) with MarCom
- Account Manager(s) must be SUNY Broome employees
- Matching profile photos
- Matching cover photos
- Matching naming convention SUNY Broome “name of organization”
- Remain active (must post at least once a week)
- Using appropriate language and messaging that best represents the College
The SUNY Broome Social Media Team and MarCom reserve the right to remove any accounts from the dashboard if they do not abide by these guidelines.
Regularly monitor your accounts for comments and questions
Most people recognize that smaller organizations can’t monitor and respond to social media all day, everyday. However, it is best practice that you try to respond as quickly as possible. If you don’t have an immediate answer it’s ok to let the person know and follow that with what you plan to do to find the answer.
Account managers are encouraged to interact with other official SUNY Broome social media accounts and others within the College community through tagging, mentions, shares, comments and retweets. This kind of interaction leads to cross-promotion, which helps to increase awareness of multiple accounts among followers.
Freedom of Speech and Comment Deletion
SUNY Broome social media accounts should promote appropriate use of social media to communicate ideas and information as a part of the educational mission and to promote conversation with and between followers. However, there may be a point at which an audience member posts something inappropriate for the general audience. The account manager is permitted to delete user comments that violate the following guidelines.
SUNY Broome reserves the right to delete user comments that are obscene, defamatory, offensive, contain threats of violence, abusive, spam or advertising, or unrelated to the content or information. SUNY Broome also reserves the right to remove posts or comments that violate applicable laws including, but not limited to, copyright and trademark, or those that violate the use policies promulgated by the applicable social media provider. Account administrators reserve the right to review all comments and posted materials and remove such materials for any reason.
As our social media audience members have the right to free speech, an account manager may only delete a comment that meets the criteria for deletion in these guidelines, not simply because the manager does not like or agree with the comment.
SUNY Broome social media account managers are expected to adhere to the guidelines as well, never share posts that are off-topic, abusive, contain profanity, are threatening in tone or attack someone or a group of people. Users engaged in such practices may also be banned temporarily or permanently from SUNY Broome social media.
User-generated content (UCG) can be obtained when the owner of a photo or video shares it with a SUNY Broome social media account via message, mentions the account’s handle, uses a hashtag promoted by the account or mentions the department, group, unit or initiative represented by the account. Social media users who engage in such actions allow SUNY Broome to use their content on its social media channels.
When posting user-generated content, remember to credit the original source (send users a direct message for additional information such as class year.)
When social media platforms or management tools allow for alternative text (alt-text) descriptions on images, it is best practice to provide them. Alt text is available on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Such text descriptions of images will be read out loud to low-sighted users who rely on screen readers to consume social media content.
For video content, you should provide captions of the audio for the benefit of those without hearing, who are hard-of-hearing and who are non native speakers. Captions can either be closed captions (where a user can turn them on and off) or open captions (where the text is embedded into the video and cannot be turned on or of).
When typing out hashtags, use initial capitalization, also known as CamelCase. Utilizing this simple technique makes the hashtag easier to read for all users and is more consumable by screen readers.
Emojis displayed on a screen will be described by a screen reader. Please be considerate of screen reader users by using emojis judiciously and by placing spaces between them.
Use of copyrighted materials
Rights and permissions must be obtained before posting, sharing or distributing copyrighted materials including, but not limited to: music, art, copyrighted photographs, text, portions of copyrighted video of information considered proprietary by a College partner, vendor or affiliate or contractor.
Photo and video consent
Students must sign a photo release to give permission to have their photo taken and published. Those who have not given permission may have placed FERPA restrictions on their records, so it’s best to ask first. Do not take photos or video of children under the age of 18 without written consent by a parent or guardian. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain photo and video consent forms.
For campus events and lectures that appeal to a wider audience, campus communicators have the option to livestream activities onto their social media accounts. This can be done through the platforms themselves using Facebook Live, Twitter’s Periscope and Instagram Live.
A social media post that includes a photo or video will generally get a better engagement or response than a post with only text. We discourage posting photos, videos or GIFs without a SUNY Broome connection because we want to give our followers an experience that is unique to the College.
The SUNY Broome Flickr page contains a collection of photos from SUNY Broome, people, places and events. These photos may be used by SUNY Broome employees for College social media accounts. Photos may not be used for commercial purposes without permission.
SUNY Broome Hashtags
A list of SUNY Broome branded hashtags for events, campaigns, etc.
Questions and requests for more information can be directed to the SUNY Broome Social Media Team at email@example.com
Alt Text (or alternative text): A word or phrase that can tell users the nature or contents of an image
Avatar (also known as a profile image/photo): An icon or photo that represents the identity of the account
CamelCase: The practice of writing phrases such that each word or abbreviation begins with a capital letter
Campus Communicator: A SUNY Broome employee who is responsible for their department/programs or initiatives communications
Channel or platform: A social media source like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
Content: GIFs, text, photos or videos that you would publish to social media accounts
Cover Photo: The horizontal photo that is displayed across the top of your social media profile
Digital Accessibility: The ability of a website, mobile app or electronic media to be easily navigated and understood by a wide range of users, including those who have visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities.
DM or Direct Message (also known as PM/Private Message): A message that can only be seen by those sending and receiving; not for public consumption
Engagement: Definition varies by platform; in general, engagement measures likes, shares, RT’s and comments
Handle: Refers to your account’s public name that can be tagged or mentioned in social media posts by using the “@” symbol also known as a username
Hashtag: A word or phrase preceded by “#” that is used on social media to identify messages about a specific topic
Impressions: Definition varies by platform; in general, impressions refer to the number of times your content has been displayed on a screen
GIF (Graphic Interchange Format): A moving image with no audio that loops and can be shared on social media
Link Shortener: A website that reduces the length of your URL. (ex. Bitly)
Meme: A popular photo, video, image or phrase on social media that is often copied & given individual variations.
Mention: When you are tagged in a post, meaning another account literally “mentions’ your account on their platform.
Platform: A social media source like Twitter, Facebook; interchangeable with “channel”
Platform Manager or Management Tool: A website or application that can assist in creating, scheduling, analyzing and engaging with social media content (ex. Hootsuite)
Reach: Definition varies by platform; in general refers to the total number of people who have seen your content.
Social Media Account: A profile set up on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, Weibo, WeChat, WhatsApp, TikTok, VSCO or GIPHY etc.
Social Media Manager: The person who is in charge of your department, program or initiative’s social media accounts (also known as administrator)
Tagging: Using the “@” symbol to mention another user/account; or, selecting those featured in a photo; or selecting the location in which the photo was taken
Verified: A verified account is that which has been established as the authentic presence of that department, program, initiative or person. It is often denoted with a blue checkmark next to the username
Viral: Trending, popular, shared worldwide