Social Media Guidelines
Social media usage at Bryn Mawr College is governed by the same policies that govern all other electronic communications. Read the information below before engaging in any social media efforts as part of your official duties at Bryn Mawr.
Individuals engaging in social media on behalf of Bryn Mawr must adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy of the Information Services Department regardless of the type of technology they are using, personal or college-owned. Of particular note:
Respect the College's name and reputation in your electronic communications.
Be a good citizen. You must comply with local, state, and federal laws; you must observe copyrights, licenses, contracts, and College policies.
Do not engage in commercial, for-profit, or promotional activities unrelated to the mission of the College.
Individuals engaging in social media on behalf of the College must protect confidential information. Do not post confidential information about Bryn Mawr College, students, employees, or alumnae/i. Employees must follow the applicable federal requirements such as Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Participating in the College’s Social Media Program
Sharing and relationship-building are at the heart of social media, and associating your office’s social-media efforts with the Communications Office’s efforts on behalf of the College as a whole can significantly increase the number of viewers you reach and contribute a great deal to your success.
Benefits of associating and coordinating your social media efforts with the College’s might include, for example:
- The Bryn Mawr College Facebook page can add your Facebook page to the list of pages it “likes,” increasing your page’s visibility to our 17,000+ fans.
- Bryn Mawr College might follow you on Twitter and add you to one or more of our Twitter lists, increasing your visibility to our 10,200+ followers.
- Bryn Mawr College might share your content on our Instagram feed and/or in stories, increasing your visibility to our 13,800+ followers.
- Bryn Mawr College regularly shares important or noteworthy posts from associated social media accounts with the College’s fans and followers.
- Web Services will add social media icons linking to your accounts in the “Contact Us” module on your website.
To participate in the College’s social media program, your official Bryn Mawr-associated account must meet the following criteria:
- Supervision/Accountability. A member of the Bryn Mawr College faculty or staff must be responsible for the account. Student workers may be hired to execute updates, but their work must be supervised by an employee of the College who is responsible for the content of posts.
- Regular maintenance. Because readers expect responsiveness from social media, accounts that are not updated and monitored regularly can cause frustration among fans or followers who feel that they are being ignored. Unmonitored social media accounts are also vulnerable to comment spam, phishing, and clickjacking schemes that can embarrass the account holders and the College and threaten online security. An official social media account should be monitored daily. New content should be posted at least once a week.
- All official Bryn Mawr College social media program accounts will be included in the College’s Social Media Directory.
Guidelines for Engaging in Social Media on Behalf of the College
Be respectful. Because social media encourage conversation, disagreements are inevitable. Keep your comments appropriate and polite. Do not say anything online that you would not say in person. Ask the Communications Office for advice on handling sensitive issues and topics.
Remember your role. Do not use the College’s official social media channels to express your personal opinions or positions. Raising issues in order to stimulate discussion is perfectly fine, but don’t take a position unless it is consistent with a position officially enunciated by the College. Keep in mind that you are acting on the College’s behalf.
Be timely. Answer questions promptly. If you are unable to answer a question, respond to acknowledge that you’ve received the question and will respond soon. Assign responsibility for monitoring your social media presence.
Be thoughtful. Remember that everything online is public and can “live” forever. Whatever you post on a social media site immediately becomes public information and can be circulated beyond the original site, even after you have deleted it.
Be transparent. Make sure your account’s institutional affiliation is clearly stated in the account profile. Discuss with your supervisor the circumstances in which you are empowered to respond directly to users and when you may need approval. If commenting about Bryn Mawr on your personal time, be clear about your College affiliation.
Correct mistakes promptly. Mistakes or misinformation are inevitable (e.g., the start time or location of an event you’ve promoted may change). Send a correction as soon as possible and note that it’s a correction. Include an apology if appropriate.