Social Media Guidelines for Employees

With the rapid growth and continual advancement of social media technologies, Nipissing University recognizes the need for institutional guidance on the effective and appropriate use of social media for the creation, sharing and exchange of information and ideas that represent the University.

The best practice guidelines below are provided to ensure employees use social media in a manner that best aligns with other Nipissing University institutional communication strategies, enhancing overall outcomes and reducing reputational risk.?

Social Media Account Setup

These guidelines are intended for any Nipissing University employee who is requesting?a?social media account, such as an account for a program/department/lab/centre that will speak on behalf of a Nipissing University.

Step 1: Departmental Approval

An employee must first obtain the permission of their department authority and the office of External Relations through the submission of a social media application form before representing Nipissing University in social media. A faculty member will obtain permission from their Dean or the Dean of Research in the case of research related entities. The employee should then work with the External Relations department to develop a social media strategy.

Step 2: Social Media Account Request Form

After receiving approval from the appropriate party, the employee may complete the Social Media Account Request.

The goals or objectives of the account can be expressed on the form in terms such as?"increasing awareness," "increasing traffic," "encouraging dialogue," or similar relevant goals and objectives. The applicant must be held accountable to the institution for time and resources expended.

The Rationale, Goals, and Strategy areas of the request will ensure that the social media activity is aligned with Nipissing University’s overall goals.

Applicants must include what constitutes success in their endeavour and how they intend to measure it. Measuring success will allow us to see how well the medium works, learn from it, and in cases of success, apply the learning to other areas at Nipissing.

Step 3: Account Approval?

The External Relations team will review the application and determine next steps. These steps may include:

  • a recommendation on how best to participate in an existing Social Network;
  • instruction on how to develop a new profile;?or
  • advising against engaging in the requested activity.

The team's recommendations will depend on overall university priorities.

If approved, you will be required to attend a social media training session facilitated by the External Relations team before your account is set up.

Guidelines for Managing Content on Social Media

Confidentiality

Never post confidential or proprietary information about Nipissing University, its students, alumni, employees, vendor, donors or business/community partners. Always assume that information posted will be shared and stored.

Privacy

Respect the privacy of all Nipissing University students, alumni, employees, vendors, donors and business/community partners, obeying all relevant laws and legislation as outlined on the Information and Privacy web page of the Nipissing University website. Always obtain permission before posting photos and/or comments attributed to others.

Copyright

Respect and obey all relevant copyright laws and legislation. Refer to the Nipissing University Fair dealing and copyright webpage and the Canadian Copyright Act for more information.

Terms of Service

Carefully read, evaluate and if deemed acceptable, follow the terms of use/service of any social media platform or tool you are using.

Acceptable Use

Adhere to Nipissing University’s Acceptable Use Policy. Be sure to delete unused accounts and securely maintain all active accounts to ensure ongoing confidentiality, integrity and availability.

Transparency

If you are authorized to represent Nipissing University, identify yourself and your association. If you are using your personal social media account, make it clear that your opinions are your own and not that of Nipissing University. Always clearly state the roles and goals of your social media accounts.

Accuracy

Only post information that has been verified as accurate. Carefully review all writing for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Always cite and link to original sources. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly.

Respect

Ensure you adhere to Nipissing University’s Harassment and Discrimination Policy and the Respectful Workplace & Harassment Prevention Policy. Be positive and constructive when dealing with negative feedback, directing readers to the information and/or authority that might best address their concerns.

Value

Before posting, think about the intended audience and consider if your content will be of interest and use to them. Know your platform and its best practices for content type, posting frequency and follower engagement as well as its informal code of conduct and expectations. Write in a concise, easy to follow manner. Use short videos, photos, animations and audio combined with storytelling for high impact. Be timely in your responses.

Endorsements

Do not use Nipissing University social media tools or platforms to advertise on behalf of an external vendor or to endorse products, causes or political parties/candidates. Work in collaboration with the External Relations department when using social media to promote fundraising events or to solicit donations on behalf of the University.

Brand Consistency

Maintain brand consistency by following applicable Nipissing University brand standards.

Hashtags

Collaborate with the External Relations department to ensure the appropriate use of strategic hashtags in your communications.

AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act)

Adhere to AODA guidelines as they relate to social media use. Refer to Nipissing University’s AODA/Accessibility website for information and resources.

Emergency/Crisis

In the event of an emergency, crisis or public relations issue, Nipissing University’s official social media channels will engage though the External Relations department (communications@nipissingu.ca).


For assistance setting up and using a social media account contact the External Relations department.

Updated: August 2019

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