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Social media is constantly changing and evolving. We invite Clark faculty and staff who are considering establishing — or have already started — a social media site for their department or office to contact us for advice, support, and promotion, as appropriate.

We can help you to establish your goals, build a social media plan, learn about dos and don’ts, select the appropriate social media tool to support your goals, promote your site, and navigate the process of building and maintaining a social media presence.

Clark University Social Media Guidelines

Social media are powerful communications tools that have a significant impact on institutional and professional reputations. Because they blur the lines between personal voice and institutional voice, Clark University has crafted the following policy to help clarify how best to enhance and protect Clark University’s reputation when participating in social media.

Social media are defined as media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Examples include but are not limited to Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and blogs.

Employees need to follow the same behavioral standards online as they do in their other professional duties. The same laws, professional expectations, and guidelines for interacting with students, parents, alumni, donors, media, and other university constituents apply online as they do offline.

If you post on behalf of an official university department or unit, the following policies must be followed.

Notify the University: Departments or university units that have a social media page or would like to start one should contact the Marketing and Communications Office to discuss best practices/policies before launching a social media page to ensure it coordinates with other University pages and their content.

Identify a content manager. All University pages must have an appointed employee who is identified as being responsible for content creation and management.

Use a departmental email address. To avoid losing access to accounts when administrators leave, do not use a personal or employee work email when setting up a social media page. Instead, use a general email address that can be continuously and easily accessed by others in your department or unit. Save the password in a secure, central location for future reference, and update as needed. If your department does not have a general email address, you may request one from Information Technology Services.

Add Clark Marketing and Communications as an administrator. All department and office social media pages should have multiple administrators where applicable. Please contact the Marketing and Communications Office to add Marketing and Communications as an administrator to your University page.

Link back to the University. Whenever possible, link to the Clark University website. Ideally, posts should be very brief, redirecting a visitor to content that resides within the Clark University web environment. All department/office Facebook pages should “like” the Clark University Facebook page. Whenever possible, link to other top-level Clark University social media pages (i.e. Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.) If your unit or department is hosting an event, create a Facebook event page and add Clark University as a host to increase visibility of the event.

Use consistent logos. Use the same treatment of Clark University colors and logo to communicate to fans, followers, and viewers. View logo guidelines.

Respect copyright and fair use. When posting, be mindful of the copyright and intellectual property rights of others and of Clark University. Before reposting an image on Instagram, always ask permission from the original poster first, and credit them properly. Apps such as Repost make the reposting and crediting process simple. View the Clark University Intellectual Property policy.

Acknowledge who you are. Your office or department is a representation of Clark University. When posting on a University social media platform on behalf of your department or office, follow these guidelines:

  • Have a plan. Departments should consider their messages, audiences, and goals, as well as a strategy for keeping information on social media pages up-to-date. View Social Media Goals and Social Media Presence worksheets. Please send completed worksheets to Clark University social media manager Danielle Strandson for review and discussion.
  • Protect the institutional voice. Posts on social media pages should be professional in tone and reflect university values. With the exception of the Clark University-level Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages, which are monitored and administered by the Marketing and Communications Office, no individual Clark University unit should construe its social media page as representing the university as a whole. Consider this when naming pages or accounts, selecting a profile picture or icon, and selecting content to post — names, profile images, and posts should all clearly reflect the particular department or unit, rather than to the institution as a whole.

Terms of service. Obey the terms of service of any social media platform you use.

Terms of misuse. These official policies are for contributors on behalf of Clark University. We expect that all who participate in social media on behalf of Clark University be trained by the Marketing and Communications Office, to understand, and to follow these guidelines. Failure to do so could put your future participation at risk.

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