Social Media Guidelines for Faculty, Staff, and Student Representatives
Bossier Parish Community College’s social media policies administer individuals on campus with information about rules, laws, and guidelines for the use of social networking as it relates to BPCC. These policies apply to faculty and staff, including student workers, who employ online communication strategies for BPCC-related purposes. These policies also apply to students who publicly share information regarding Bossier Parish Community College events, classes, clubs and organizations.
These guidelines will help ensure social media content remains professional, clear, and relevant. Account holders are expected to adhere to these policies to ensure the effectiveness of content shared across social media platforms and promote the college’s social media marketing goals which include:
- Connecting with our community, students, faculty, staff, and alumni;
- Using digitally driven strategies to positively influence the College’s brand image; and
- Increasing user enrollment and engagement both online and on campus.
Social Media Defined
Social media is a means of communication through web-based and mobile technologies to reach or influence widespread audiences. The blending of technology and social interaction opens an additional channel of communication between Bossier Parish Community College and its several audiences. Social networking platforms are web-based applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, etc. For the purposes of this policy, the Public Relations Office considers social media networks to be any digital channel with which users are publicly sharing or broadcasting information about BPCC, its divisions, departments, programs, faculty, or staff.
Your responsibilities representing Bossier Parish Community College
Before you begin a social media feed on behalf of your department or organization, please remember the following:
- By accepting the responsibility of maintaining an official social media presence, you acknowledge acceptance of these official policies for Bossier Parish Community College regarding social media pages;
- While you are speaking on behalf of your department, you are not speaking on behalf of the College as a whole;
- You are accepting any liabilities for your comments, notably adhering to state and federal guidelines.
Advertising or endorsement of external vendors or businesses is prohibited on any Bossier Parish Community College social media platform. Usage of BPCC’s official trademarks, logos, and colors must comply with the Bossier Parish Community College Visual Identity Guide.
Release of information deemed official by the university is also subject to oversight by the Office of Public Relations. It is not permissible to release official College news without the prior approval of Public Relations.
All state of Louisiana rules regarding purchasing, contract confidentiality, proprietary information, and open records regulations apply, as well as federal guidelines regarding student records (FERPA) and personnel information (HIPPA). No political statements or endorsements are allowed on official Bossier Parish Community College social media.
Because you are utilizing state of Louisiana property, state of Louisiana computer networks and/or state work time, your activities will be subject to any state Freedom of Information Act requests. Employees of Bossier Parish Community College who violate these policies, or other university privacy and confidentiality policies do so at the risk of disciplinary action.
Social media representing College divisions must be updated regularly with content that meets the quality standards of the College. Administrators of pages must monitor their own pages and be prepared to respond rapidly to any problems that may occur. The security of passwords and the integrity of the social media page is the primary responsibility of the administrators of the page.
Updating the page with engaging and interesting content is the responsibility of the social media administrator. Please make every effort to create a steady stream of information to your community. A stale page is more damaging to the reputation of the College than having no page at all.
Social media pages should not be created to use as a means of internal communication but rather as a method of connecting with the public and promoting your division.
Students will not be authorized to create public groups, pages, profiles, or sites of any kind that represent BPCC, its student body, its academic programs, or its athletic teams. Groups, pages, profiles, or sites created must have a faculty or staff administrator to oversee the content. That faculty or staff administrator will be responsible for adhering to the guidelines in this policy.
If you have any question regarding copyright or other issues surrounding the agreements with social media services, please contact the Office of Public Relations.
Finally, as a de facto representative of Bossier Parish Community College, inappropriate language, ethnic slurs, personal insults, or conduct deemed unprofessional will not be tolerated. While social media encourages a casual voice, please take care with spelling and language. As a rule of thumb, do not act in a manner that would be unacceptable in the halls of your department.
Social Media administrators are required to maintain a consistent partnership with The Office of Public Relations. The Office of Public Relations must be given administrative access to every social media page, group, profile, or site created to act only as secondary contacts and ensure consistency in style and efficiency of strategy across the college. Participants must uphold all applicable College policies for property, privacy, and civility outlined in the “Rights, Duties, and Responsibilities of the Academic Staff.”
The Public Relations Office
This policy will be administered and enforced by the Office of Public Relations. Public Relations personnel will monitor content across the web and on social media platforms and reserve the right to remove or report posts that violate this policy. The Public Relations Office is responsible for building and maintaining the Bossier Parish Community College brand and conveying it to the necessary target audiences to promote strength and academic excellence. The Public Relations Office implements all communications strategies for the College which include but are not limited to:
- marketing and advertising efforts
- media relations between the College and external sources
- creative services for the College divisions, departments, programs, and services including graphic design, promotional strategy, creative direction, photography, and videography
- radio and TV advertising
- scheduling for College Speakers’ Bureau engagements
- website copy and creative design
In order for the Public Relations Office to accomplish the College’s communication efforts, the Office has established this Social Media Guide as a reference source to assist everyone in maintaining a high-quality brand image and consistent messaging for BPCC when engaging in all digital platforms. All divisions, departments, programs, and services should adhere to the standards in this Guide.
Any exceptions to the Social Media Guide are discouraged. Questions or permissions for exclusion from any part of this policy may be directed to and obtained from the Public Relations Office at 318-678-6031.
Social media request application and account creation
Departments or Organizations interested in having a social media presence may begin the approval process for an Official page by completing the attached Social Media Request Application. The Office of Public Relations will contact you within 5 business days following receipt of your application and any additional paperwork. An application will not be reviewed until all required paperwork has been submitted. All official Bossier Parish Community College social media accounts will be created by the Office of Public Relations. Administrative rights and login credentials will then be given to the designated page administrator.
In an effort to abide by most platforms’ terms and conditions and to allow the College to evaluate and maintain a database of authorized accounts and administrators, the following steps must be followed: Any department/division requesting permission for an Official page on a social media platform should provide the Public Relations Office with:
- Completed Social Media Request Application;
- Updated login credentials in the event that any usernames or passwords are changed;
- Updated contact information in the event that a new Page Administrator is chosen
If, after numerous attempts, the Public Relations office is unable to contact an assigned Page Administrator, the Division or Department Head will be responsible for assigning a new person to this role.
Before you begin
If a social media feed does not currently exist, please take a moment to consider whether it suits the needs of your division and will help you to meet the goals you wish to accomplish. Social Media is a fast and innovative way to reach your desired audience, but poor execution can produce an undesired result and negatively impact the College as a whole. Bossier Parish Community College strives to maintain a strong brand by establishing an exceptional online presence. Ask yourself, do you need to directly interact with students? Does your division generate ample amount of content including images, video, and text? Is the goal to educate with news or connect with the community? Does your team have the time, expertise, and resources to maintain a social media presence? If you are uncertain about the answer to these questions, the Office of Public Relations is available to discuss your ideas, options, and alternatives!
Designating your administrator
When determining who will be managing your page on a continuous basis make sure to select someone who can dedicate the time and resources to not only maintain your social media page but also grow it effectively. Contact information for the individual(s) who will be authorized by the department/division to create, operate, monitor, and edit the accounts on an ongoing basis (i.e. the “Page Administrator”) must be provided to the Office of Public Relations. Students may not be named as administrators.
Choosing a platform
More and more each day, users are turning to social media networks as a resource for news and information. Who are you trying to reach with social media and which platforms are they active on? People may be looking for your content and it’s important that you deliver it to them on a site that they are connecting to and engaged with. The following audience information and stats via Hootsuite provides more information on the users that make up these popular social media platforms.
Sharing More with Facebook
As the largest social media network in the world, Facebook offers users a variety of ways to engage followers including personal interaction, engaging commentary, and image and video sharing. To interact with users in real time, you can share video using Facebook Live. The platform is casual, but to be effective you should expect to post at least once a day.
- More than 1 billion people use Facebook daily
- 71 percent of American adults with access to the internet use Facebook
- 83.6 percent of Facebook’s daily active users are outside the U.S. and Canada
- 82 percent of online adults ages 18 to 29 use Facebook
- 56 percent of online users ages 65 and up use Facebook
- 79 percent of those ages 30 to 49 use Facebook
- Female-identified users: 76 percent of all female-identified U.S internet users use Facebook
- Male-identified users: 66 percent of all male-identified U.S internet users use Facebook
- 72 percent of Facebook users have incomes of over $75,000
- 74 percent of Facebook users have some form of higher education
Real-Time Reporting with Twitter
Twitter serves to alert followers quickly. Sharing headlines and alerts to larger pieces of content available on news sites or other social platforms, or reporting in real-time during events are great ways to utilize this platform. Think like a journalist. Tweeting updates throughout the day is the norm on Twitter.
- 23 percent of all internet users and 20 percent of the entire U.S adult population use Twitter
- 50 percent of users visit or shop at the website of an small or medium business they follow
- 60 percent of users bought something because of something they saw on Twitter
- 37 percent of Twitter users are aged 18 to29
- 25 percent of Twitter users are aged 30 to 49
- Female-identified users: 15 percent of all female-identified U.S. internet users use Twitter
- Male-identified users: 22 percent of all male-identified U.S. internet users use Twitter
- 54 percent of Twitter users have incomes of over $50,000
- 30 percent of users have some form of higher education
Creating Highly Visual Content with Instagram
Users love Instagram for its highly cohesive and creative visual content. This platform offers the ability to showcase personal and professional brands with images and video clips. On Instagram make sure your images are clear and consistent. The cohesiveness of your page can also speak volumes about your “brand” as a whole. Make sure your images all share a similar look and feel. Avoid sharing images that are dark and out of focus.
- Daily users: 75 million
- 26 percent of adult internet users use Instagram
- 75 percent of users live outside of the U.S.
- Over 40 billion photos have been shared on Instagram
- 80 million photos are shared daily on Instagram
- Instagram’s per-follower engagement rate for brands is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter
- Instagram users are “two and a half times more likely to click on ads than on other social media platforms”
- 53 percent of Instagram users are aged 18 to 29
- 25 percent of Instagram users are 30 to 49
- 11 percent of Instagram users are 50 to 64
- 6 percent of Instagram users are over 65
- Female-identified users: 49 percent of Instagram users identify as female
- Male-identified users: 51 percent of Instagram users identify as male
- 26 percent of Instagram users have incomes of over $75,000
- 52 percent of Instagram users have incomes of over $50,000
- 24 percent of users have some form of higher education
Delivering Industry News on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a professional social media platform. Users share industry relevant news and events and connect with professional contacts. Bossier Parish Community College maintains an official LinkedIn Page. Having a singular presence for marketing all divisions/departments/organizations is the best way to ensure the consistency and accuracy of message delivery and brand image. If departments wish to publish content to LinkedIn you must first contact the Office of Public Relations before uploading ANY content.
- Total users: 414 million
- 70 percent of LinkedIn users are outside of the U.S.
- The most overused word on a LinkedIn profile is “Motivated”
- 23 percent of LinkedIn users are aged 18 to 29
- 31 percent of LinkedIn users are 30 to 49
- 30 percent of LinkedIn users are 50 to 64
- 21 percent of LinkedIn users are over 65
- Female-identified users: 44 percent of LinkedIn users identify as female
- Male-identified users: 56 percent of LinkedIn users identify as male
- 44 percent of LinkedIn users have incomes of over $75,000
- 75 percent of LinkedIn users have incomes of over $50,000
- 50 percent of users have some form of higher education
Going Behind the Scenes with Snapchat
This social platform promotes the broadcasting of mobile video. The app has been praised as offering unique content options and allows users to get behind the scenes glimpses of the world around them. Almost like a VIP access ticket, Snapchat video welcomes users into places and events happening in real time. “Snaps” are meant to be perfectly imperfect and a reflection of who you are in the moment. Because your Snapchat profile doesn’t create a log or feed of all of your past content, there is no need to curate a continuous page persona.
- Daily users: 100 million
- Videos viewed per day: 7 billion
- “Millennials, a demographic marketers are spending 500 percent more to reach than all others combined, account for more than seven out of 10 Snapchat users.”
- 18 percent of all U.S. social media users use Snapchat
- 65 percent of daily users contribute content
- 9,000 Snaps are shared per second
- 76 percent of Snapchat users purchase things online
- 45 percent of Snapchat users are between 13 and 24
- 26 percent of Snapchat users are 25 to 34
- 13 percent of Snapchat users are 35 to 44
- 10 percent of Snapchat users are 45 to 54
- 6 percent of Snapchat users are 55 to 64
- Less than 1 percent of Snapchat users are over 65
- Female-identified users: 70 percent of Snapchat users identify as female
- Male-identified users: 30 percent of Snapchat users identify as male
- 62 percent of Snapchat users have incomes of over $50,000
- 38 percent of Snapchat users have incomes of under $50,000
- 70 percent of post-secondary students use Snapchat
Delivering Video That Educates on YouTube
It’s no secret that video is now a driving force for engagement online. With video a key component of content marketing, the number of brands with a channel is steadily on the rise. Besides being the second largest online search engine, YouTube is also heavily used as a resource for how-to content. Bossier Parish Community College maintains an official YouTube Channel. Having a singular presence for marketing all divisions/departments/organizations is the best way to ensure the consistency and accuracy of message delivery and brand image. If departments wish to publish content to these or other video sharing platforms you must first contact the Office of Public Relations before uploading ANY content.
- YouTube has over 1 billion users (almost one-third of all people on the internet)
- Largest age demographic of users: 25 to 34 (41,000,000)
- YouTube reaches “more 18 to 34 and 18 to 49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.”
- Female-identified users: 46 percent of total users
- Male-identified users: 54 percent of total users
- 46 percent of YouTube users have incomes of over $75,000
- 45 percent have some form of higher education
- 14 percent have post-doctorate degrees
Naming your page
Social media platforms offer Administrators the ability to create a unique name for the account. When naming your social media presence, you must be clear in identifying your division as a part of Bossier Parish Community College. Keep in mind the overall goal is to focus on the college brand as a whole. Do this by including the college acronym (“BPCC”) before your division name.
In order to provide consistency across all authorized pages and to allow for convenient searching within the social media platforms all pages must be listed and appear as follows:
Facebook Example: BPCC Workforce Development and Continuing Education
Twitter Example: Example: @BPCC Athletics or @bpccathletics
Instagram Example: @BPCCOpenCampus
Exceptions can be made for annual/reoccurring events or organizations that already incorporate the BPCC acronym in the name.
Example: BPCC 100
Example: BPCC Green
If there is a discrepancy in your page name, the Office of Public Relations will contact your page administrator and offer a naming solution consistent with these policies. If you are unsure whether your name follows these guidelines, you may contact the Office of Public Relations to have them review and approve the page name.
Branding your page
Because visual information is processed 60x faster than text it is important for all BPCC social media pages to use consistent and clear imagery. Visitors should be able to tell immediately what your business page is about. Your profile photo and cover image should work cohesively to deliver a clear visual message. Avoid using dark images or photos/graphics with too much detail in your profile photos, as this will make it harder for people to see who you are. Remember, the majority of visitors will be seeing your profile on a mobile device.
Your cover image is your shop window. Use this area to display high quality images of students in your program, division stats, or related upcoming events. Keep text on a cover image short, punchy, and easy to read. If you have social media pages on several channels, remember to use consistent brand imaging across all platforms.
The Office of Public Relations has the ability to brand your message appropriately and is available to assist with your graphic design and photography needs. Please see the attached Social Media Image Size Guide attached to help you find the appropriate sized content for creating profile photos and cover images.
Ensuring safe and appropriate content
Content posted on official university social media is subject to the approval of the Bossier Parish Community College’s Office of Public Relations, and content created by non-university groups may be considered for use on official feeds if it meets the College’s quality standards.
Content should not be posted unless it offers further support of the college’s mission. Only share information that is appropriate for the public and clearly suitable for all ages. Content should be posted with the understanding that once the information is published it is difficult to remove. If deleted or modified, older versions may continue to exist online. The College must have written permission from a student in order to publicize any personal information. The Model Release form has been attached to this policy for your convenience.
Content posted should be original (created specifically for your page) or shared from a reputable source. Any time you share someone else’s content on your page you must credit your source by sharing a link to the original content or tagging that account in your post. On Facebook or Twitter, if you share a post directly you do not have to reference the source as their page name will automatically be shown. Images and graphics found on the internet through an image search or taken from another website SHOULD NOT be shared on any page, as it is very difficult to verify the original source of the content. Sharing someone else’s graphics or images to promote your page without crediting the original source is known as COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. The Office of Public Relations has the ability to brand your message appropriately and is available to assist with your graphic design and photography needs.
Content shared should be clear and legible. Please see the attached Social Media Image Size Guide attached to help you find the appropriate sized content to share on each platform.
In order to avoid discrepancies and confusion, social media platforms should not be used to post detailed policy or procedural information, e.g., program admission criteria. Instead, users should be directed to the official BPCC website or publications for such information.
Held to a higher standard
While sharing copyrighted material for use on personal social media pages may be accepted by the general public, the College must uphold intellectual property rights. If you do not have the proper permissions to post or use copyrighted material including graphics, photography, audio or video files, link to the official file sources. If you cannot find the official source, do not share the material. Instead, use BPCC branded photos, graphics, or audio/video files. You may contact the Office of Public Relations with your photography, videography, or graphic design needs.
Interacting with your followers
Be prepared to accept and respond to comments on your page. The majority of social media users expect Businesses, Organizations, and Colleges to listen and respond to their comments. Be prepared for comments that are not positive or comments expressing concern for the College or department. When receiving these comments, page administrators can feel tempted to go on the defensive. Do not lash out at these users or delete comments unless they are deemed inappropriate. Deleting comments that are viewed as negative can look to the outside world like you are being dishonest. Instead, respond in a professional and timely manner. Inaccurate comments by users offer you the opportunity to respond and politely educate. To protect yourself and your page, consider placing a disclaimer on your page stating that you reserve the right to remove inappropriate comments, those using obscene or vulgar language, that attack groups or individuals, that are clearly offensive, and those that are commercial endorsements or other attempts at spam.
In an emergency or crisis situation
Do not post information or updates to your feed without approval from the office of public relations. Should an event be occurring on campus, refer followers to the CAVSalert system; the College’s main web site, and BPCC’s official social media feeds. NEVER SPECULATE or report unconfirmed information during a crisis. If you see another page posting inaccurate or speculated information, please contact the Office of Public Relations with screen captures of the incident.
Any page revisions requested by the Office of Public Relations must be made within 3 business days of being contacted.