Social media are powerful communication tools that impact organizational, professional, and personal reputations.
They also easily blur the lines between institutional and personal voices. The following guidelines explain the best uses of social media to enhance professional and personal communications while protecting reputations. Remember: participation in social media is behaviour subject to UNBC's existing Code of Conduct.
Golden Rule: Only create an official UNBC social media asset if you are prepared to consistently create content valuable to the community specific to your office, program, or institute. If you find that none of your followers belong to your target community or you are having trouble attracting followers, you may need to reevaluate the content you are providing.
When naming your social media asset, consider following this convention: "UNBC_nameofdepartment." Eg. @UNBC_CTLT. You may need to abbreviate or shorten your title for it to fit.
Any institution or program wishing to use UNBC's logo in their social media initiatives is encouraged to do so, while adhering to UNBC's graphic standards. Please contact us to have one specially made for you.
Guidelines for Institutional Use
1. Protect the UNBC Brand
The UNBC logo cannot be modified or used for personal endorsements, and the UNBC name cannot be used to promote a product, cause, political party or candidate.
2. Respect UNBC
As a representative of UNBC, avoid postings that could be misinterpreted. Ask your supervisor or Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are unsure.
3. Respect others
Social media sites are designed for two-way communication, and content contributed to a social media site may encourage comments or discussion of opposing ideas. As an administrator, you can and should respond when relevant, but consider how your response may reflect on you, your department and the University. If you are unsure about posting something or responding to a comment, ask your supervisor. You may remove comments libelous or offensive, but do not remove posts with which you personally disagree. Also, avoid criticizing other people and institutions. Doing so may alienate you from your audience, reflect poorly on UNBC or escalate into a conflict.
4. Remain transparent
Be honest about your identity. Because no individual departmental social media site represents all of UNBC, clearly link pages, account names, images and content to a particular department or unit within UNBC.
5. Connect thoughtfully
Connecting to other social media members and sites builds credibility and community but could also give the unintended impression that your site endorses a certain cause, group or person. Consider carefully who you friend, follow, link to or allow into your site and to what extent you will allow comments. Help the UNBC community stay connected by linking back to the UNBC homepage and other UNBC social media sites. When possible, link to a UNBC news source instead of an outside source.
6. Be confidential
Be careful not to reveal confidential or proprietary information about UNBC students, employees or alumni. Adhere to all applicable University, provincial and federal privacy and confidentiality policies, including the Code of Conduct.
7. Link back
You are welcome to link from your social media site to the UNBC homepage and adjoining sites.
8. Be safe
Be cautious of "phishers". Phishing is the attempt to gain control of a personal or institutional social media site by deceiving a user into revealing the account's username and password. Monitor your social media sites carefully to ensure you notice quickly if an unauthorized person gains access. The larger your audience, the more tempting your site becomes as a target.
9. Protect property
Follow copyright, fair use, and intellectual property rights. In some cases, content posted to a social media site becomes the property of the platform operator.