Siena College encourages our community members to engage in a healthy exchange of ideas inside and outside the classroom. Our students, faculty, administrators and staff are charged with making “reasoned and informed judgments” and appreciating diversity of background and thought.
With this in mind, Siena College authorizes the creation and use of College-related social media accounts, provided their use is professional, protects the reputation and brand of the College, and complies with all Siena College policies and applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
These guidelines do not seek to limit personal use of social media by faculty, staff, or students. Siena College employees and students may mention their College affiliation in the Bio or About sections of personal social media accounts but are prohibited from using College trademarks and official brand elements on those accounts in ways that violate branding guidelines as outlined in the College’s Style Guide.
Siena recognizes the value of social media platforms and must balance its support of social media with the preservation of Siena College’s brand identity, integrity, and reputation.
PRIMARY GOALS OF THESE GUIDELINES
- To enhance and protect the personal and professional reputation of Siena College, our students, faculty, administrators and staff;
- To address issues of privacy, safety and respect for all members of the Siena community.
WHAT IS COVERED
These guidelines apply to social media for the official business, educational and marketing purposes of Siena College.
The term “social media” may refer to, but is not limited to, websites, blogs, vlogs, social networking sites and platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), message boards, podcasts, video sharing (e.g., YouTube) and photo sharing (e.g., Instagram).
These guidelines apply to any user of social media pages associated with Siena College and its schools, departments, offices, clubs, teams and programs.
Those impacted by these guidelines include:
All units of the College including, but not limited to, colleges, schools, departments, research centers, student organizations and clubs, and governing organizations.
Who should read these guidelines:
All faculty, staff members, and students who manage social media as a College-affiliated administrator or as an individual for personal use.
OFFICIAL POLICIES AND GENERAL GUIDELINES
Siena College Policies and Procedures
All social media activity is subject to official Siena College policies.
Acceptable use of information systems at Siena College
Access to computer systems and networks owned or operated by Siena College imposes certain responsibilities and obligations and is subject to College policies, and local, state, and federal laws.
Social media account administrators are expected to be familiar with Siena College’s Information and Technology Services (ITS) policy and procedures.
Everything we do at Siena College should be guided first and foremost by our mission and core values, and interactions on social media are no exception. Inclusivity and respect at Siena College are everyone’s responsibility. Siena’s commitment to the open exchange of opinions and ideas extends to social media. Users may disagree with other posts over the course of relevant discussion through social media, but the nature of such content should at all times remain respectful.
Appropriate conduct, as outlined in official Siena College’s Policies, extends to social media. Any social media content that violates Siena College Policy is subject to disciplinary action.
Do not post confidential or proprietary information about Siena, its students, faculty, or other employees. Use good ethical judgment and follow the College’s policies, such as the E-Communications Policy, and federal requirements, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
If you identify yourself as a member of the Siena community, ensure that your remarks and any photos or content are consistent with how you wish to present yourself and Siena College.
Be aware of privacy.
Information on any social media platform can be shared indefinitely with unlimited audiences. Siena expects and encourages all those participating on its sites to exercise caution and responsibility. Consider your own privacy and reputation at all times before posting and/or commenting on personal sites.
Be aware of liability.
Individuals are legally liable for their posts on their own sites and the sites of others. All laws apply regarding copyright infringement or material deemed defamatory or libelous.
Do not violate intellectual property rights of the College, its faculty, staff or students.
Posts from any users, including students and employees, are not to be considered an endorsement and do not necessarily reflect the mission, values and policies of Siena College.
The establishment of these guidelines does not create rights in third parties or private causes of action against the College for violations by others or enforcement inaction on the part of the College.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Account administrators include Siena College faculty, staff, or students who administer or author content for any College social media account. Account administrators are expected to:
- Consult the Best Practices Guidelines below as well as with the College’s Style Guide (located in the communications folder on the Public drive) before launching a social media account.
- Correct or modify College social media accounts under the administrator’s control, as directed by the Marketing and Communications office.
- Terminate any College social media accounts that cannot be made compliant with these guidelines.
- Deactivate obsolete accounts within a reasonable amount of time.
- Publish and enforce set rules for the code of conduct by followers of the account.
- Provide administrative access to accounts to a member of the College’s Marketing and Communications staff.
Communications professionals at the unit level include College staff members within a unit (school, department, center, office, student organization or club, or any other Siena College-affiliated group) charged with communications oversight. Communications professionals are expected to:
- Work collaboratively with Marketing and Communications to review and approve new College social media accounts.
- Provide guidance and support for new account administrators in respective units.
- Document the College social media accounts in respective units.
Users include any person who places postings, commentary, or other content for a College social media account or space. Users are expected to:
- Refrain from using or posting to College social media accounts in violation of these guidelines.
- Surrender access to College social media accounts, as appropriate, when College employee or student status changes.
- Provide administrative access to accounts to a member of the Marketing and Communications team upon request.
- Not use social media for personal purposes that might reasonably create the impression the content is authorized or controlled by Siena College, unless using a social media application’s sharing feature to share content from an official College source.
Marketing and Communications staff is expected to:
- Oversee Siena College’s institutional presence on social networking platforms.
- Determine whether to allow College social media accounts on new platforms as they become available. Authorize these accounts as appropriate.
- Review and maintain administrative access for social media accounts that represent the College for compliance with these guidelines.
- Instruct account administrators to correct, modify, or terminate College social media accounts that are not in compliance with these guidelines.
Registering an official social media account
Existing and new College social media accounts are requested to be registered with the College. Requests to register should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org The purpose of this is to keep an updated directory for visitors to the College’s websites and to allow for periodic quality control checks to occur. Registration information includes:
- Full account name
- Two best contacts (Siena College employees) with email addresses
Siena College employees may be authorized to use social media at work to promote the Siena College brand and encourage active engagement with the College community. Review the ‘Starting an Account’ section below and consult with your area’s Vice President before submitting the request to open an account.
Siena College encourages social media users to interact with the College and each other but is not responsible for comments or posts made by followers of or visitors to Siena College accounts. Comments posted by these individuals may not reflect the official views or policies of the College. In accordance with this, College social media accounts should include a version of community guidelines below in the accounts’ about sections.
Community commenting guidelines
Social media administrators should respond quickly to commenters who express concerns and attempt to address them directly or refer them to a person or department who can. It is recommended in the response to offer to speak one-on-one via private message or ask for the user to private message the account so they can be put in touch with the appropriate person on campus.
The structure of your response will vary based on the nature of the social networking platform but it should always be friendly and representative of Siena College’s culture and values.
Not every critique needs a response; some people are just venting frustrations, or are purposefully engaging in off-topic or inflammatory posts in an attempt to provoke others. Consult Marketing and Communications for advice on responding to specific posts that fall under this category.
Comments that are inappropriate, offensive, insult or attack, contain illegal suggestions, or use foul language should be removed as allowed by that particular social media platform, as should those that are intentionally repetitive (spam). Keep a log of any comments removed, and most importantly, be consistent with the treatment of all commenters.
Removing posts that have become controversial
Occasionally, you may find that something you’ve posted to your page has taken a life of its own in the comments section. If your audience is staying on-topic and remaining civil as per your commenting guidelines (see example below), it is advisable to let the commenters keep each other in check. If needed, remind commenters about your commenting guidelines.
However, if the conversation seems to be sliding toward only one point of view in a manner that is contrary to the spirit of your post, you may need to make a moderator decision. Please contact the Marketing and Communications office for advice on how to handle.
Example of community commenting guidelines
Siena College abides by Facebook’s Terms and Conditions, and we ask our followers to do the same. Per those guidelines, please do not "post unauthorized commercial communications (such as spam)"; "bully, intimidate, or harass any user"; "post content that: is hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence"; or "do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory" on Siena College's Facebook Page. Comments and postings by fans on this site ("User Content") do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Siena College.
Siena College reserves the right to remove any posts that contain commercial solicitations; are factually erroneous/libelous; are wholly off-topic; or that otherwise violate Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
Representing Siena College
By having a social media account that indicates you work at or attend Siena College, or if you run an account for your unit, you may be perceived as being a spokesperson for Siena College. It is essential that you do not speak for Siena College, the institution, but that you represent only your unit. In that role, you should consider yourself a spokesperson for your unit. To mitigate any potential issues, be mindful of the following:
- Stick to your area of professional expertise.
- Confirm information before posting/sharing to ensure it is correct. When in doubt, don’t post.
- Use good judgment when responding to comments. Review the decision tree at the end of this document for reference.
- Questions/comments that are related to a College news/website story, press release or social media post should be referred to email@example.com on Twitter and/or the Director of Marketing and Communications.
- Keep personal accounts separate from your role at Siena College when possible. If there is overlap, ensure your personal views are not viewed as official Siena College communications.
- You may include a disclaimer in your About section (from Policy: 1.75 – Use of Electronic Communications And Social Media), such as: “The views expressed on this (website, blog, social media site) are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer or of Siena College.”
Branding and Style Requirements
To avoid confusion on what constitutes an official Siena College social media account, affiliated accounts must adhere to the Siena College Style Guide (also accessible in the communications folder on the Public drive) to ensure consistency across platforms. The Marketing and Communications office can assist with any questions regarding graphics standards and with setting up approved accounts to ensure brand guidelines are met.
Official Siena College logos are available to download (accessible in the communications folder on the public drive) to help you create profile photos and cover photos as the platform allows. Official College primary and secondary colors are available in the Style Guide for reference when creating page identity images. Please note: You may not alter the logo in any way when creating a profile picture.
— Work with the Marketing and Communications office to establish your account and to choose a username. Best practices:
- Full, official name of your unit. - Typically begins with “Siena College” (e.g., Siena College Admissions - Facebook); if space is limited in the platform, “Siena” is an acceptable alternative to “Siena College” (e.g., @SienaSaints)
2. Contact information
— Include official website link.
- If URL is longer than one “/” using a bitly is preferred.
— As space allows, include other contact information such as:
- Telephone number(s)
- Email address(es)
- Other websites
3. “About” information
— As space allows, fill out as completely as possible the about section of your profile.
- This includes mission, descriptions, founding information, etc.
— Include “Siena College” here if your unit’s official name does not contain it (e.g., if the name comes from a donor).
4. Profile picture
— Must represent your unit in a clear manner.
— Must be readable at small, thumbnail size and be of sufficiently high resolution for larger expanded sizes.
— If unsure about appropriateness, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
5. Other photos/cover photo
— If available, choose a photo that works well in the horizontal area at the top of many social media platform pages.
— It should represent your unit and/or directly complement your profile picture.
— Swap this photo regularly to refresh the look of your page.
Third Party Usage
The Siena College name and logo may not be used by a third party without express written consent of the Siena College administration (e.g., a national organization that wishes to list Siena College as having a campus chapter).
To obtain this permission, please contact email@example.com. Please be aware that this approval process may take up to several days.
All official Siena College logos and marks are protected and trademarked. Siena has partnered with Learfield Licensing Partners to help manage the licensing of the College marks. More information on licensing and trademarks is available here.
The Siena College name or logo may not be used to promote or endorse any product, cause, or political party or candidate.
STARTING AN ACCOUNT
These guidelines should help you determine whether to create a new account or use an existing account that has established followers.
- Determine who you’re trying to reach and where that audience is on social media.
- Determine how your messages will be targeted (e.g., promoted posts to a specific audience, different platforms for different audiences, etc.)
- Define the purpose for the new account.
- Determine your goal and how to measure its success.
- Managing a College-affiliated social media presence requires frequent and consistent attention. If you don’t have the time to devote you may be quickly overwhelmed.
- Determine what your account offers that others don't, particularly in your unit.
- Define a messaging framework for your target audience and determine if it overlaps with another Siena College account.
- Determine if partnering with another account can strengthen your message.
- If account administrators (such as students) change frequently, consider creating a generic email address to minimize the effort required for transitioning to a new account administrator. Contact the ITS help desk to set up a delegated email account.
- Follow and analyze content on social media from your peers as a starting point for reaching those audiences.
It is important to set goals and measure success against those goals for social media. This will inform overall communications strategy and help you assess whether certain platforms work better for your intended audiences than others.
The Siena College Marketing and Communications office will offer an annual social media training session. Information about upcoming training sessions will be promoted in the College’s Daily Digest. Account administrators are strongly encouraged to attend a training session.