Social Media Guidelines Social Media Best Practices Using Saint Mary's University's Social Media Consider using Saint Mary's University's social media outlets before deciding if a separate social media presence for your office or administrative department is necessary. If you have information you would like posted on our social media sites, fill out a service request form. If you do decide to create your own social media presence... Create a plan Answer these questions: What is the purpose of this site? What is your intended audience? What type of content do you want to share? How often do you have news that needs to be posted? Be responsible Someone needs to be the owner of the social media site. This needs to be a person who can dedicate time and resources to maintain it on an ongoing basis. Do your research Look at other organizations' social media sites to see how they are doing things. Find out what works and what doesn't. Join or watch discussion groups via LinkedIn or other sites to get and share ideas. Measure success What does success mean to you and how will it be measured for your site? Contact Ginny Erbe, Interactive Marketing Director (email@example.com or 457-6981), for any questions about starting your own social media site. Facebook + More Getting Started 1. Facebook Profile, Page or Group? There is a difference! Before deciding which you want to start, here are a few key points. Profiles are individual accounts and work exactly like your personal Facebook page. You have to confirm everyone who "likes" you. Statistical data is not available for Profile pages. Pages are set up and maintained from your personal account. You are administrator of the Page and can assign other administrators to help take care of the Page with you. Pages are accessible and searchable by the general public. Statistical data can be obtained. Groups can be used as a forum venue and can be kept open or closed. You can allow anyone to be a group member or limit who may join. Statistical data is not available for a Group. We suggest that if you are creating a Facebook account for a particular class or social club, use a Group. It will provide for more one-on-one connections and identify who is speaking at all times. If you are creating a Facebook account for your academic department or athletic team, use a Page. It allows you to manage larger accounts in a simpler way. More information about Profiles, Pages and Groups can be found on the Facebook blog. 2. Setting up your Facebook Page Both groups and Pages need to be set up with a personal Profile. This Profile is then considered an administrator. Your personal Profile remains completely separate from any Page you are an administrator on. From Create a Page choose “Company, Organization or Institution” type. Then choose “University” from the categories list. When naming your page, including “Saint Mary’s University” or “Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota” in the title will make it easier for others to find the page. Take time to fill in the “About” section with current contact and general information. Full name and address Phone number, email address and website Short description (purpose of the Page) Vision statement Include the statement "We retain the right to hide or delete any comment that is spam, unlawful, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, slanderous, hateful or embarassing to any other person or entity as determined by Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in its sole descretion." Cover Photo – The large photo or graphic that is in the header of your page. This is only visible to those who visit your page. Create cover photo and change it often – maybe reflect the current season, upcoming event, etc. For best results use a photo that is 851x315 pixels. Profile Photo – The smaller photo or graphic that is next to all of your posts and comments. Everyone sees this. Create profile photo (Anything square at least 180x180 pixels). Be creative with your photos. Search Google images for “Creative Facebook cover photos” 3. Take ownership of your Facebook Page Post status updates to your wall at least 3-4 times a week. Make your updates dynamic by posting pictures, videos and links whenever appropriate. Keep your messages clean and professional. Use an active voice - don’t sound like a robot. This is an informal means of communications. Be relaxed and have fun with it. Keep a content calendar. Schedule posts in advance. This is helpful if you have news that you want to make sure and get out in a timely manner. Remember to monitor the update for any comments that may need immediate attention. If a Page/Profile has not been used recently, deactivate it. Having no Page is better than having an outdated and forgotten one. Get more activity on your Page: Ask questions Take polls Post photos Post links to current events – start a conversation about it. It doesn’t always have to be about what’s happening on campus. Post videos – link to our YouTube channels 4. Keep your eye on the Wall Respond to questions and comments when necessary and in a timely manner. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Don’t delete negative comments (unless they are violent, injurious, extremely profane, etc). This is your opportunity to show that we value other opinions, explain a misunderstood situation, promote the university in a new light, etc. Respond to these promptly and professionally. Sometimes people just want to blow off steam and no response is necessary. Delete any spam postings that sneak in. 5. Join the alliance Let the Marketing and Communications Department know about your site to be included in the social media directory. Network with other SMU Facebook Page administrators to share information and learn tips and tricks for using Facebook. Contact the Interactive Marketing Director if you need help creating your accounts. Ginny Erbe - firstname.lastname@example.org • 457-6981 Facebook Tips Have your page “Like” all of the other SMU Facebook pages. This makes sharing content easier and increases the potential for each Page to get new likes and to reach a larger audience. Assign more than one Page administrator. When the main administrator is out, content may still be added and comments responded to in a timely manner. Student-run Pages that represent SMU organizations and/or student clubs should have at least one faculty/staff member listed as an administrator in order to keep continuity as students graduate. When posting a link, copy/paste the link into the status field. Facebook will pull up a preview to the link. Delete the link in the status field before submitting your post. This reduces redundancy and provides a clean message, especially if the link is really long. When posting a link, you can also change the Headline to the link as well as the text synopsis that comes with it. As an administrator, you can post as either yourself or as the Page, make sure you know which identity you are using at all times. Posting status updates as the Page puts the post on the wall and on everyone who follows the Page’s newsfeed. Posting as yourself shows up in the right-hand column under “recent posts by others” and will only show up in the newsfeeds of those who are both your friends and followers of the Page. To get a larger audience when posting an event, use a Facebook Page, not a Profile. Events are not searchable and if the event is posted through a Profile, only friends of that Profile have easy access to the event. The only way to direct people to an event is with the URL. This is usually ok when emailing or inviting people electronically, but not when trying to place on a printed poster or in a newspaper ad/article. In printed documents, it’s easier to say, visit the (Name of Facebook Page) and click on events. Pay attention to trending news/current events Be sensitive: If you have generic updates scheduled during a time of national tragedy, take them off the schedule. Either remain silent or extend our thoughts and prayers to whomever/wherever the tragedy happened. Be current: If something important and/or popular happens such as the Super Bowl, meteor shower, local news story, etc, talk about it. Ask questions of your audience – what do they think? Twitter + More Getting Started Setting Up a Twitter Account Go to http://www.twitter.com Fill out the form Full name – Enter in your real name. Email address – you can only have one twitter account per email address Username – Twitter will suggest usernames according to what your real name is. You can use their suggestions or you can make something up. There is a character limit on usernames – keep it short. Twitter will ask you to start following people to get your account going. If you find a Skip button, go ahead and skip this part. If not, go ahead and follow anyone just to get past this step, you can always unfollow them later. Once you get your account going, take the time to go through the settings tools. This is where you can customize your landing page and other preferences. Upload a photo for your avatar and complete a brief bio in the Profile section. People are more likely to follow someone with a descriptive bio and a photo avatar. Twitter Tips When you want to mention another twitter user, use the @ symbol with their username. For example, “Hey, @smumn I love your campus!” This will notify the admin of @smumn that they have been mentioned. It will also provide a link for others to click on that will give more information about @smumn. When tweeting use the # symbol when you are talking about a specific topic. For example “I can’t wait for the @smumn Celebration of Scholarship on April 12! #smuscholars.” If you want people to use a specific #hashtag for an event, make it known on your event publicity. Tell people why they should follow you in your bio - what can they expect to get out of following you? Twitter is a broadcast medium - don’t rely on conversation to build reach. Share links - direct people back to your website or your news blog. Put links about 25% of the way through your tweet – research says that’s the sweet spot for being clicked on and retweeted. Don’t talk about yourself all the time – it’s OK to talk about other things, it creates interest. Most retweetable words: You, Please, retweet, post, blog, social, free, media, new, help, great, follow, how to, check out Least retweetable words: haha, lol, boring, watching, work, home, night, bed, well, sleep, gonna, hey, tomorrow, tired, going, game Be active, exciting, and positive. Don’t be boring, dull and negative. Don’t worry about tweeting too much – the average life-span of a tweet is about 8 minutes before it gets buried in the feed. Space your tweets out throughout the day – experiment with timing. Every character counts – be concise. Short, catchy headlines that incite curiosity are best. Use a statistics tool such as Hootsuite to keep track of click-throughs on your links. Use a URL shortener – Bit.ly will keep track of click-throughs, Hootsuite has a built-in URL shortener and also keeps track of click-throughs. There are virtually tons of other Twitter tools to use that will help you manage your twitter account. Social Media Legal Notes + More Do not post confidential or proprietary information about Saint Mary's University, students, employees, or alumni. Be aware of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations. Respect copyright and fair use: Give credit where credit is due. When using or posting online material that includes direct or paraphrased quotes, thoughts, ideas, photos, or videos, always include citations. Provide a link to the original material if applicable. When posting photos of people that are recognizable (full face or profile), make sure you have their permission to post. If you identify yourself as a Saint Mary’s University faculty/staff member on your personal social media sites, it should be clear that the views expressed are not necessarily those of the institution. We retain the right to hide/delete any comment that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, slanderous, hateful, or embarrassing to any other person or entity as determined by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in its sole discretion.