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CWRU Social Media Policy + Best Practices

Already a social media guru? Or are you preparing to pursue social success for a university department, program or group?

Whatever your social media profile, this policy—and these best practices—is for you. 

Not a fan of reading long things on the web? Neither are we (and, usually, your readers aren’t either—we’ll get into that later). Download a PDF for offline reading.

Introduction

Social media has become ubiquitous in our personal lives, but it also can be an invaluable tool in our professional lives, helping us spread the word about groundbreaking research, exciting university news and upcoming events.

But it’s also constantly changing. What’s effective one day may not work the next based on the latest algorithms; what was once your most-visited platform now gets far less traffic, even though your tactics haven’t changed.

We’re here to help—well, as much as we can. We can’t, for example, make Facebook stop changing its algorithms. But we can help you unlock the puzzle of what’s good to post, what’s ineffective and what may be downright illegal.

What follows is a roundup of social media strategies, policies and best practices for members of the Case Western Reserve community, for their personal accounts and the ones they manage for the university.

There’s a difference between your personal and professional use of social media, of course. We’ve laid out guidelines for both, but three rules exist no matter your role:

  1. Think before you tweet (or post, or blog, or pin, or tumble). Social media is a public forum—no matter how secure your privacy settings. Someone can take a screen shot of your posts (or otherwise share them) in a matter of seconds. Even if you delete the post, the damage already could be done. Be 100 percent certain you are comfortable with your post—and that you would be OK with colleagues, prospective employers or even your parents seeing it. Because, trust us, they can.
  2. If in doubt, leave it out. Wondering if something is too private to share? If you have to question it, don’t post it. Never share confidential, personal or proprietary information about Case Western Reserve University, its administration, students, employees, alumni or donors on social media. (Even on your personal account, don’t post anyone’s private information without his or her permission.) That includes photos of people whose permission you have not received to post publicly. Use your best judgment and follow university policies and federal requirements.
  3. Have fun. Social media is supposed to be just that—social. No one wants to read boring Facebook updates. If you’re representing your department or organization, determine the personality of your account, and then develop and maintain a voice that matches the appropriate tone and taste. If it’s your personal account, be your own smart self.

Policy highlights

This policy isn’t short. We know that. But social media is an expansive topic, and there’s a lot to discuss.

We strongly encourage you to read the entire thing (you can download a PDF for offline reading) before opening a new social media account, or registering your current one.

However, we want to point out a few critical points from the document of which you should be aware. Note: This document references official social media accounts—or those that speak on behalf of a segment of the university on social media. It does not apply to student organizations.

Five Key Points:

  1. Determine if you need a social media account, or if your information could be shared more effectively through outlets that already exist. Set goals for your communications, and see how—or if—social media will help you meet them.
  2. Once you’ve discovered that social media is right for you, you must register your account (providing your contact information as well as that of a backup administrator) with University Marketing and Communications to become an authorized social media representative. As part of being in this role, you are permitted to use the university’s name, logo, etc.—but you also have responsibility in times of emergency and for keeping your accounts up to date.
  3. Representatives from University Marketing and Communications will periodically monitor accounts for activity; we may contact administrators of inactive accounts to have pages updated or, in extenuating circumstances, shut down.
  4. All passwords for university social media accounts should be updated every 180 days, or when an administrator leaves the university. Units also can use social media monitoring tools to help reduce the sharing of passwords within departments.
  5. All account holders must abide by the university’s electronic communications policies as well as FERPA, HIPAA and NCAA regulations; copyrights and trademarks; and privacy and accessibility rules.

Now let’s get started.

 

To be clear: Official social media accounts are those authorized to speak on behalf of a segment of the university through social media. This includes anyone managing or contributing to a social media channel on behalf of a school, department, office or other official entity at the university. This policy only applies to those individuals when they post on official accounts and/or when they otherwise speak as an authorized representative of the university. It does not apply to other interactions individuals may have on their personal social media accounts—as long as such communications do not indicate that the individual is speaking on behalf of the university. It does not apply to student organizations, although logo usage rules will be enforced. And, of course, best practices always apply, no matter where you’re posting.

 

This policy applies to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, blogs and more. It is meant to be a living document that will transform as technologies change.

 

Now that we're clear on that, let's get into the details.

 

Social media can be a powerful tool to disseminate news, connect with audiences and build a sense of community. At Case Western Reserve, we fully support the use of social media by schools and organizations—as long as there is a clear strategy behind it.

 

You see, social media alone isn’t a marketing plan; it’s just one of many effective outlets necessary for a successful integrated marketing and communications plan.

 

So before you get create a Facebook page for your department or launch a blog for your event, you need to think strategically. Ask yourself—and your supervisors—the following questions:

  • How can social media help us meet (and exceed) our goals?
  • Is social media the appropriate channel for reaching our audience(s)?
  • Who is our audience(s), and do they use certain social media channels?
  • Which platforms or tools will be most effective?
  • Do we have the resources for content development, execution and long-term maintenance?

Perhaps the most important question, though, is simply: Do we need a social media account?

 

If you don’t have news and information to post regularly (we recommend at least two times per week on Facebook and a minimum of once per business day on Twitter, for example), then you likely do not need your own social media account.

 

Instead, please share your information with University Marketing and Communications to consider for its vehicles. We have built a large following on our official social media outlets and are always looking for more information to share to showcase our wide-ranging university community. But we can’t post what we don’t know, so share with us! Email Emily Mayock at ehm23@case.edu with your ideas.

 

To learn more about Case Western Reserve’s social media strategy, download our guide at case.edu/umc/socialmedia.

 

Once you are confident social media is appropriate for your situation, you must register your account with University Marketing and Communications (UMC) to become an authorized social media representative. Accounts created prior to August 2015 must register with UMC by Dec. 31, 2015. After January 2016, social media managers must register new accounts with UMC prior to being created.

 

To register, you will complete a form that includes:

  • the name of the account (proposed or existing),
  • URL (if existing),
  • contact information for the account administrator and a backup administrator,
  • a brief description of your goals, audience, strategy and measurements for success, and
  • an exit plan—meaning, if you need to remove your account, how will you do so?

You also will be reminded to update (or maintain) the account administrator contact information twice per year, to ensure continuity. In addition, you must agree to abide by the crisis communication guidelines, outlined below.

 

You also may choose to add a representative from University Marketing and Communications as an account administrator on your page. Rest assured, UMC will not try to “control” your page; this is simply another outlet to ensure your social media presence is consistent. Contact Emily Mayock (ehm23@case.edu) for more information.

 

Register your account now.

 

Why register, you ask? For starters, it’s helpful for us to have a complete inventory of what’s out there in the CWRU social media world. It will allow us to better showcase your accounts to the campus community and our followers, and we can keep track of any areas devoid of a critical presence. Plus, with students graduating or employees taking new opportunities, there often is turnover and failure to pass on the account administration information. These accounts then become stagnant and reflect poorly on the university. By registering, we can better keep track of who created the account and how your unit can maintain it.

 

In the event of an emergency, Case Western Reserve University must communicate a unified message across all channels. Social media pages increasingly are among the first places community members go for details on the emergency, what is being done, and what they should do to stay safe. They often will look for Case Western Reserve-related pages on Facebook and Twitter, searching terms such as “Case Western Reserve University,” “Case,” “CWRU,” etc.

 

Therefore, if you open or run a social media account that bears a named relationship to the university (i.e. contains the name “Case Western Reserve University,” “Case,” “CWRU” or the like), you agree to*:

  • immediately update your page with approved messaging only from Case Western Reserve’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts (if possible),
  • not spread rumors or hearsay, and
  • share critical information you see on social media with representatives from University Marketing and Communications. 

Social media outlets, including Facebook and Twitter, require account administrators be “authorized representatives” for the pages they maintain. Only administrators who have agreed to this protocol will be “authorized representatives” for Case Western Reserve University pages. Failure to comply with this policy may result in closure of the social media page or account.

 

Again, this policy does not apply to student organizations; however, assistance delivering our messaging in an emergency always will be appreciated.

 

*Some units may determine this is inappropriate for their audiences. We respect and understand that. Exceptions may be granted; more details are available in the social media registration process.

 

Being on social media without being social is, to be blunt, pointless. Social media accounts must be regularly maintained and updated. We recommend Facebook pages be updated at least two times per week, and Twitter no less than once per business day. An abundance of inactive accounts reflects poorly on the communications strategy of the entire university. Therefore, accounts that have been inactive—meaning no tweets, posts, etc.—for more than three months may be subject to deactivation or deletion.

 

Representatives from University Marketing and Communications will periodically monitor accounts for activity and contact the appropriate administrator (or backup) to discuss inactivity. If you decide you no longer need the account, we can work with you to shut it down. If, however, you still want to keep your account, we can work with you to set goals and a strategy for moving forward and representing Case Western Reserve.

 

Please note: We won’t simply remove your account without your knowledge. We will take all measures possible to reach you before taking any action. But if we do not hear back from you promptly, we will take the issue to a leader in your department, unit or organization to discuss options before deactivation.

 

Have you determined your social media account isn’t worth the effort spent managing it? Or maybe you’ve merged with another organization to streamline your messaging? First, thank you for recognizing that social media accounts require time and effort—and may not be worth it for everyone.

 

That said, when you want to remove your account, we ask that you take the following steps to ensure no data is lost in the process:

 

On Facebook

  1. Go to your Account Settings
  2. Click "General" in the left-hand column
  3. Click on "Download a copy of your Facebook data"
  4. Click "Start My Archive"

Following these steps allows you to keep record of posts you’ve shared, lists of fans and general Facebook activity.

 

On Twitter

  1. Go to your “Settings”
  2. Under “Account,” click “Request Your Archive.”
  3. Download and save the file emailed to you

This allows you to have a record of your complete Twitter activity for future reference.

 

 

For some social media accounts, such as Facebook, your password is tied to your personal account; for others, such as Twitter, you have a separate login and password.

 

As members of the campus community are well aware, the university has a strict password-enforcement policy for their network ID, which is connected to web programs such as email. However, no guidelines existed for social media accounts. Until now.

 

All passwords for social media accounts—even if connected to your personal account—should be updated every 180 days (once per semester), per the university’s password policy. In addition, passwords should meet the same complexity standards as outlined by Information Technology Services:

  1. Must contain eight or more characters 
  2. Must include at least three of the following:
    • Uppercase letters 
    • Lowercase letters 
    • Numerals 
    • Punctuation
  3. When using common dictionary words, no more than four consecutive letters can be used. (For example: snoozing could be something such as Sn00z1ng to comply.)

Passwords should be changed immediately when an individual with access to your account leaves the department/organization/unit.

 

All passwords should be stored securely in a password management tool as recommended by Information Technology Services, with access granted to or removed from individuals as necessary.

 

And because Facebook allows you to log in through your personal account rather than requiring a separate login, please do not share your login information with anyone. By sharing this information with a trusted friend or even your spouse, you open the university up to risk. You may want to consider creating a separate Facebook profile solely to update and monitor your university-affiliated page.

 

In addition, University Marketing and Communications recommends the use of social media enterprise software, such as HootSuite or Sprinklr, to manage your accounts. These programs not only will help you manage all of your social media accounts from one platform, but they also will help you keep your personal and professional accounts separate and can even restrict access rights if necessary.

 

Why is all this important? For starters, changing your password regularly helps protect you from hacking or, worse, identity theft. It also helps ensure that unauthorized users cannot gain access to your personal account or to your university-affiliated social media pages.

 

Second, oftentimes a few people within a department have access to social media passwords for pages. If one of those individuals leaves the university but still has access to the account, he or she could cause damage to the university’s brand by posting to this page.

 

For Students

 

When you walk into a classroom, you’re there to learn. That means the fewer distractions you have, the better.

 

So, unless it is related to your class—meaning what you’re doing has the official approval of your instructor—please refrain from social media use in the classroom. By using the university’s technology resources (i.e. wireless Internet), you agree to the university’s Acceptable Use Policy. Any inappropriate use of these resources can lead to appropriate punishment.

 

For Faculty

 

That said, some faculty members might encourage the use of social media to facilitate discussion inside and outside of class. According to a 2013 report from Pearson Education, 41 percent of faculty use social media in their teaching. (Social media in this report included blogs, wikis and podcasts, in addition to more traditional social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.)

 

Some ways in which you may want to incorporate social media in the classroom include:

  • Have your students connect with you—or your entire class: create a hashtag for questions about your course, for example, or a Facebook group where they can ask you or their classmates questions;
  • Have your students connect with experts in the field; or
  • Enhance regular reading materials with podcasts and blogs.

Whether or not you choose to embrace social media in the classroom is entirely up to you. Do what you’re comfortable with. But remember: It’s up to you whether or not you allow students to use social media while they’re under your watch.

 

Mobile devices allow you to be connected nearly any time at any place. Which is great—except when it’s not.

 

Having your university-affiliated accounts linked to your mobile device can be a positive thing: You can respond to comments immediately and keep tabs on what’s happening. But it also can be dangerous: You think you’ve switched from the university’s Twitter page to your own account and go to make a personal post…only to have it show up on your CWRU-affiliated page. This can quickly damage the university’s brand—not to mention your own image within your department.

 

Mistakes happen, but we should mitigate the potential of them occurring wherever possible. University Marketing and Communications recommends you do not post from your mobile device unless absolutely necessary (in case of a crisis, for example) or unless it’s a mobile-based platform, such as Instagram.

 

Social media usage is governed by the same policies that govern all other electronic communications. Read the following policies before using any social media.

Advertising on behalf of external vendors is prohibited on Case Western Reserve University websites and social media presences, with the exception of Case Western Reserve University Athletics, through its media rights provider.

 

All social media sites have policies and terms of service that should be reviewed and agreed to before use.

 

Confidentiality

 

Again, do not post confidential or proprietary information about Case Western Reserve University, its administrators, students, employees or alumni. Use your judgment, and follow all university policies, federal requirements—such as HIPAA and FERPA—and NCAA regulations.

 

Privacy

 

Do not discuss a situation involving named or pictured individuals without their permission. A good rule of thumb: If you wouldn't present the information in a public forum, don’t post it online. Follow all university policies and guidelines on the appropriate handling of student, employee and patient information.

 

Liability

 

You are responsible for what you post, whether on your personal or university-affiliated account. You can be held liable for posts deemed to be copyright infringement, defamatory, proprietary, libelous or obscene. Verify all information as fact before you post, and cite and link to your sources if appropriate. As always, think twice (or thrice) before you post.

 

Accessibility

 

At Case Western Reserve, we are committed to ensuring that digital materials are available and accessible to all members of the campus community, including individuals with disabilities. Social media administrators should take steps to reduce barriers to access for individuals with disabilities by, for example, enabling screen-reader compatibility, captioning videos and adding descriptive tags on images. Most major social media platforms provide access solutions for individuals with disabilities, but you must do your part to alleviate any barriers.

 

Copyright

 

It’s true that posts with images are far more likely to be interacted with and shared on social media. But that doesn't mean you must use a photo—especially if you don’t have the right to do so. When using photographs or graphics, repurposing content or sharing information, be mindful of copyright and fair use laws. Bottom line: Don’t steal images off the Internet! You must secure permission when including copyrighted or trademarked material and include a permission statement or disclaimer, as required by the owner. For more information, visit the U.S. Copyright Office at copyright.gov.

 

Trademark

 

The university retains a trademark on its name (“Case Western Reserve University”) as well as other iterations, including “Case” and “CWRU,” and the phrase “think beyond the possible.” Use of these terms in your account names, Twitter handles or bios could be a trademark violation if used to misrepresent the university.

 

Once you complete registration with UMC, you will be an authorized representative of the university; as such, you will have the right to use the university’s name in your materials.

 

The university’s logos also are trademarked and can be used only by authorized social media accounts. UMC has created a suite of approved social media icons in appropriate sizes. Visit case.edu/umc/socialmedia to download.

 

That’s Not CWRU

 

Though University Marketing and Communications attempts to track accounts affiliated with the university, this is a nearly impossible task. As such, we ask that all members of the campus community are good brand stewards and keep an eye out for accounts claiming a Case Western Reserve connection.

 

Some ways in which accounts may misrepresent a relationship with CWRU include use of:

  • our logo (official or modified)
  • the university name (or some version of the university’s name, including “Case,” “Case Western,” “Case Western Reserve,” “Case Western Reserve University” or “CWRU”)
  • our tagline (“think beyond the possible”)

If you come across an inappropriate social media account—or simply one you’re questioning—please notify University Marketing and Communications immediately at socialmedia@case.edu. If necessary, we will then contact the Office of the General Counsel to discuss appropriate next steps.

 

Can I Use Your Photo?

 

People love to look through photos on social media. They’re a key way to engage with your users.

 

But can you snap a photo on the quad and post it to your Facebook page, without asking the person first?

 

Technically, yes—although we recommend being polite and asking first. And, to be safe, you should have the individual sign a media release form, available for download at case.edu/umc/socialmedia.

 

However, per section 2741 of the Ohio Revised Code, higher education institutions are permitted to use an individual’s photo without explicit permission if both of the following apply:

  • The individual is or was a student at, or a member of the faculty or staff of, the institution of higher education.
  • The use of the individual's persona is for educational purposes or for the promotion of the institution of higher education and its educational or institutional objectives. 

That said, if you post a photo and someone asks you to remove it, please do. There’s no sense in creating a stir when it’s unnecessary.

 

In addition, you should include a statement somewhere on your social media page that explains who to contact if an individual wants his/her photo removed from your site.

You have your own social media accounts, and sometimes you look at them while you’re at work. We know that.

 

Employees may use social media in the workplace as long as it does not consume significant time or resources, interfere with operations and productivity, or violate official policies set by your department. The university reserves the right to monitor the use of its computer systems, and disciplinary or other action may be taken if an employee’s online activity violates law or policy.

 

Remember: It’s out there.

 

Anything you share on social media is public. It can be shared, stored and spread globally. Don’t post anything that you would not be comfortable having shared with your colleagues, parents or even strangers.

 

Some institutions don’t condone sharing university news via personal accounts. But we don’t agree with that approach. If there’s a story or program at the university you honestly believe in, share the news! Is there a debate in the comments section of a university-related story? Join the conversation! Just be a responsible brand steward.

 

When personally posting about or responding to university-related content, be upfront about your identity. Disclose your affiliation. Clearly state your role and your goals in posting the news. Your openness will lend authenticity to your posting and let other users know that you’re sharing out of pride, not obligation.

 

If you’re posting personal comments, please disclose your name and affiliation, and state that you’re voicing a personal opinion, not representing the opinion of Case Western Reserve University, its administration or any other community members. For example, if you want to tweet regularly about higher education news and affiliate yourself with Case Western Reserve, you could put in your bio that the views and thoughts expressed are your own and do not reflect the views of CWRU.

 

If you wish to use your personal social media account for professional, official Case Western Reserve University business, your profile, tone and content should be consistent with how you wish to present yourself to colleagues, administration and other members of the university community.

 

And remember: Use good taste, common sense and a professional tone whenever participating in an online discussion—especially those regarding the university. While constructive criticism adds to a healthy dialogue, we ask that you refrain from engaging in conversations that disparage colleagues, competing institutions or critics

 

This policy does not restrict your ability to engage in protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act, nor is it intended to govern or restrict your personal online presence or otherwise limit principles of academic freedom.

 

Do not use Case Western Reserve University logos or other related marks or images on your personal social media accounts. You also should not use the university’s name to promote or endorse products, causes or political parties/candidates. 

 

Employee behavior on social media can violate the human resources policy; as such, some—but not all—online behavior could subject employees to discipline.

 

Social media provides a multitude of opportunities to share the Case Western Reserve message and improve our brand recognition. But with opportunity also comes potential failure. Without a unified social media strategy, Case Western Reserve will present a conflicting appearance, which could lead to issues such as loss of confidence in the information coming from the school, department or program.

 

This social media strategy, which guides the main Case Western Reserve accounts, is part of a much larger overall communications strategy from UMC and other units.

 

Of course, every account on every platform should have its own strategy, its own voice and its own message to share. We don’t have to share the same stories (how boring would that be?), but we do need to have overarching goals that allow us to individually, in our own unique way, tell our collective story.

 

Through our use of social media, we aim to:

  • Communicate our key messages to a broad audience.
  • Enhance the reputation of Case Western Reserve by promoting appropriate, relevant content.
  • Protect the university’s reputation if misinformation is spread.
  • Create a dialogue among our audiences.
  • Foster a sense of pride in being part of the Case Western Reserve community.
  • Inform and educate our audience in interactive, engaging ways.
  • Improve consistency in social media style across the university—while encouraging personal tone, voice and messaging to meet each constituency’s needs.
  • Grow Case Western Reserve’s social media presence to become a major part of the university’s communication strategy.
  • Meet our audiences’ wants and needs by analyzing metrics and mentions to see how we can better tailor our strategies.
  • Implement best practices across all social media platforms.
  • Build community and goodwill.

 

More and more, social media is our first (and closest) contact with our audiences. But audiences’ attention is fleeting; you only have a few seconds to make a great impression. Use these tips to guide you through the social sphere—and make your followers listen to what you have to say.

  • Get approved. If you’re acting as the voice of your unit, make sure your boss is on board with what you’re saying.
  • What’s your name? Be sure your handle not only makes sense but also accurately reflects your relationship—or lack thereof—with the university. On Twitter, you’ll want to keep it short; if referencing the university in your name, use “CWRU” instead of “Case” (which, by the way, should only ever be used in reference to the Case Institute of Technology or as part of the full name of the Case School of Engineering). On Facebook, your account can be better found if you include “CWRU,” “Case Western Reserve” or “Case Western Reserve University” in it. And, as always, please remember: Our name is Case Western Reserve University, Case Western Reserve or CWRU. Other iterations do not accurately reflect the institution or its history.
  • Be accurate—but correct your mistakes if they happen. It’s crucial to ensure you have the details straight before you post a status update or send a tweet. But no one is perfect. If you make a mistake, fess up. Correct any inaccuracies or errors in a quick, upfront manner. Make it clear—whether in follow-up posts, comments or replacements—that you’re aware of the error and have made the appropriate corrections. Your honesty and diligence will help you become a trusted voice in the social community.
  • Transparency is the best policy. When you’re managing an account for a department or unit, usually no one knows exactly who you are. But it’s OK to let your community members know they’re interacting with a real person. You don’t have to state your name and title every time you post, but if someone asks, tell them! And remember: Because they don’t know who you are, they view your posts as coming from the university. What you say directly reflects on all of us.
  • Have something to say. You must have enough relevant content to post regularly; we recommend at least two times per week on Facebook and no less than once per business day on Twitter. Notice we said “relevant content.” Don’t inundate your followers with information that doesn’t affect them. That’s not a way to gain—or keep—fans. If you don’t have enough to post, it’s time to rethink your social media strategy. (Contact us. We can help.)
  • What’s your response? You should (usually) have one. Social media is at its best when it fosters a dialogue. Build your community by allowing—and encouraging—your fans to ask questions and providing them with answers.
  • Be timely. In order to successfully manage social media pages, an administrator should check the accounts at least once daily (ideally more often) to respond to questions or comments.
  • Don’t censor. Case Western Reserve University is committed to demonstrating respect for the diversity of thoughts, ideas and opinions. Allow open discourse about relevant topics, even if subjects disagree with one another. We do not censor, even if the content reflects unfavorably on the university. Speech that is obscene, threatening, abusive or illegal in any manner, however, is unacceptable and must be removed immediately. As administrator, it is your responsibility to identify the offending user and report him/her to the social media platform administrators as well as to UMC, so we are aware of inappropriate—or potentially dangerous—content. You should take a screen capture of the offending materials for future reference before removing it (more on this to come).
  • Know when to step in. Discussions can turn heated or even inappropriate or offensive. You don’t need to step in at every critical statement, but keep a close eye on the conversation. Sometimes you’ll have to be the moderator; a few quick reminders to be civil might do the trick. Other times, your community members will do it for you. Remember, speech that is obscene, threatening, abusive or illegal in any manner must be removed immediately (after you take a screenshot of the conversation). In addition, content that is factually incorrect should be addressed. Avoid being confrontational or a censor, and stick with your tone and intent of your social media strategy. And, above all, protect the rights of your users. See our steps in the next section on how to report inappropriate content.
  • Be a user. If you don’t experience the tools as a regular fan, you’ll never maximize your ability to use those tools as a communicator. Being active on social media allows you to see what others do well—and then do it one better.
  • It’s a conversation. Your fans are real people. Talk to them like they’re in the room. Nix the fancy language and, instead, show your personality, develop a rapport and encourage discussion.
  • Give generously. Your fans made the effort to find you. Reward them. Make them feel special with exclusive content, advice, thought-provoking questions and games. Allow them first access to announcements or events. Give them a reason to care about your message.

Anything short of awesome is spam. Put yourself in the “fan” seat and evaluate if you’d actually want to read it. If you’re not interested, you’ll just bother them—and you’ll lose them.

 

Social media gives you a unique opportunity to interact with your fans and create connections—not just send out a message and never follow up.

But how can you do that if you’re not watching the conversation? To be a good social media member, you must monitor your accounts regularly.

A few tips to do so:

  • Set up an account on a social-media-monitoring site, such as HootSuite. Here, you can watch the activity on all of the social media accounts you manage, as well as track when people are talking about certain phrases, such as “CWRU.”
  • You also can sign up for fee-based monitoring services that email you at least daily with notifications on when you’ve been mentioned on social media. For more information on recommended services, contact socialmedia@case.edu.  
  • Log in to your accounts multiple times per day—especially right after you’ve made a post—to see how and if people are responding. If they’re asking questions, answer them! If they’re giving you compliments, thank them (or like/favorite their messages)! If they’re being negative…well, you may choose to respond, or not. See our response flowchart for our suggestions on when to engage—and when to steer clear.
  • Are you going on vacation or out of the office for a few days? Make sure a backup administrator is monitoring your accounts and has the power to respond appropriately.

The university does not censor content. However, if there is a post that is inflammatory, defamatory or otherwise offensive, or if it is of concern to a member of the campus community’s safety, please take the following steps:

  1. Take a screenshot of the post.
  2. Note the time and date of the post.
  3. Check the poster’s profile and document his/her name, affiliation to CWRU (if it can be determined) and any other pertinent information (for example, does he/she have public posts defaming others).
  4. Hide or delete the post.

Immediately email a screenshot of the post to Emily Mayock, executive director of online and internal communications, at ehm23@case.edu. From there, University and Marketing Communications will decide if police, legal or other involvement is necessary.

 

Whew. Now that you’re through all of this, you’re probably itching to get rolling on creating (or updating) a stellar social media campaign.

 

Once you’ve outlined your social strategy and set goals for each account, it’s time to register your account(s).


Want more help? We’re here! Email Emily Mayock, executive director of online and internal communications, at ehm23@case.edu to find out how we can assist.