Social Media Guidelines

As a social media manager, you play an integral role in Colorado College’s storytelling. Social media allows us to preserve moments, engage in conversation, and share enthusiasm for the work done by our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of CC.

Representing Colorado College on social media requires upholding college standards. These industry standard social media guidelines are intended to help CC staff, faculty, and students who manage or contribute to official CC social media channels. These guidelines do not apply to student-run groups on campus.

Security

Each social media account will have at least two administrators at all times: one administrator and one back-up administrator. A student may be enlisted to help manage an account, but should not establish or have the highest level (admin) rights to the account. Ideally, accounts should have a shared @coloradocollege.edu email address, username, and password so the account is not tied to a specific individual. Contact the ITS Solutions Center if you need a shared email address created.

Account administrators will be responsible for managing and monitoring content of their respective social media accounts and for removing content that may violate the Social Media Guidelines or any college policies.

We recommend applying Multi-Factor Authentication to every social media account you access, including any personal profiles used for administering business pages. MFA adds another layer of protection in addition to your username and password. Generally, the additional factor is a token or a mobile phone app that you use to confirm that you are the person logging in. It is preferred that you setup MFA through the Duo Mobile app (what CC uses for SSO) rather than an SMS text message. Learn how to turn on MFA for various social media platforms.

Plan to change the passwords to your social media accounts at the beginning of each semester and summer, or immediately after any suspicious activity such as a security notification or when a social media administrator leaves their role or the college.

Succession Planning

Social media platforms should be monitored at all times and should never go without an active administrator/manager.

If the owner of a social media account is leaving the college or no longer wishes to be an account administrator, a new administrator should be identified immediately. Ownership should be transferred to that individual and any administrative access the former employee had should be removed. For some platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook), this requires the removal of their profile as an administrator. Other platforms such as Twitter and Instagram require a change of password. If you have MFA enabled, make sure that the authentication measure is changed to the new administrator by updating the Duo Mobile or cell phone number used.

Naming Conventions

When you name your social media channel, it is very important to establish a clear connection to CC. It is preferable to use Colorado College or CC in your profile name and handle, followed by your department or program name. Be consistent with your profile name and handle across social media platforms. Make sure you use the name people already recognize for your department, office, or program.

If your department, office, or program name is too long to use in full form, abbreviate only when necessary. If you must use an acronym in your name or handle, list your department, office, or program’s full title in the bio section for each platform. 

If you have an existing social media account whose name does not follow these guidelines, most social media platforms will allow you to change the name after the account is created.

Avatars and Cover Photos

The Office of Communications provides social media avatars (profile pictures) and cover images for all college programs, departments, and offices. By using these graphics, accounts are aligned with CC’s visual identity, and it ensures social media users can instantly recognize an official CC account. Cover images can be customized with a photo and tagline/short phrase specific to your program, department, or office. The Office of Communications will work with you to create these graphics, which you can request when you register your account(s).

Bio and About Information

Your bio or about information is key to describing your department or program’s mission and affiliation with CC. For Instagram and Twitter in particular, the bio is the first thing your audience sees when they visit your profile. Make sure this section is complete with accurate contact information and tag the main CC accounts to show your affiliation. Include a link to the CC website when possible.

Use only one or two account tags or links in your bio or about messaging. Anything more is hard to consume, especially on mobile devices. It’s important to keep your bio and about information concise and up to date.

Content

Accounts must be regularly maintained and comply with all college policies. While there is no right or wrong answer for how often to update social media pages, posting two or three times per week is ideal and once per week is a minimum. 

Content should follow CC’s Visual Identity Guidelines, Editorial Style Guide, and Master Communications Plan. Social media administrators have access to templates in Canva for creating graphics and the Digital Asset Management system for official college photography. Reach out to the Office of Communications if you have questions or would like training in Canva or the D.A.M.

Make sure to follow the college’s copyright policy. This policy helps protect you against copyright violations in content creation and publishing, and also protects your work and rights as an author or creator of images, art, documents, and other content.

Do not discuss confidential or sensitive internal issues online without authorization. Be conscious of the laws and regulations governing the privacy of student education records (FERPA), protected health information (HIPAA), and personally identifiable information. Do not post confidential or private information about faculty, students, alumni, or other employees. 

When representing Colorado College on social media:

  • Use language that is appropriate, inclusive (we, us, our), and representative of CC and its mission. Avoid using first-person pronouns, jargon, acronyms, institutional language, or abbreviations.
  • We encourage our fans and followers to post, comment, and interact with our social media profiles and with others in our social media community. Make sure to encourage conversation and engage with positive comments. Don’t remove post comments offering criticism if they are otherwise respectful. In addition, don’t participate in arguments or respond to negative comments and direct messages unless you can provide information that may help resolve the issue, or a clarification or acknowledgment is needed on behalf of the college. Review the college's Social Media Comment Guidelines for more information.
  • Delete or hide comments that are abusive, contain profanity, are threatening in tone, devolve into personal attacks, or are spam.
  • When you discuss college-related matters, you may need to coordinate your writing with the Office of Communications. When in doubt, please contact the Office of Communications for guidance or consultation.

Review the social media best practices for additional information.

Emergencies/Crisis Communication

In the event of an emergency or crisis situation, account administrators are asked to share only official information provided by the main CC social media accounts and shared in official college messages. This ensures accuracy, a consistent message, and that the latest information is being shared. You will receive guidance directly from the Office of Communications in these situations.

Deactivating Accounts

If any of your social media accounts are inactive and you don’t have the resources or plan to resume activity, strong consideration should be given to indefinitely hiding your page or unpublishing/deactivating the page. Hackers can target unmonitored accounts to gain access to information or begin posting fraudulent content. Remember, most social media outlets allow you to hide your profile from public view with the ability to reactivate it at a later date.

Register Your Account(s)

Once you have reviewed and implemented these guidelines, make sure to register your social media accounts to be considered for inclusion in the college’s official Social Media Directory. Registering your account not only gives you added exposure but also access to ongoing updates, assistance, and training opportunities. Once your accounts are registered, your content can be shared and your profiles can be tagged by the main CC social media accounts.

If you would like help or guidance related to any of these guidelines, reach out Jessi Burns, content and social media manager in the Office of Communications.

 

Report an issue - Last updated: 09/01/2022