Introduction

These guidelines have been created for any Southeast Missouri State University-affiliated account on social media. They are meant to guide the written content and graphic creation of posts. These guidelines were created to follow brand standards and promote exciting, quality content. Southeast’s accounts should maintain an appropriate level of professionalism. We expect our guidelines to evolve alongside the evolution of social media platforms.   

A Southeast branded account includes any account administered by University employees using the Southeast Missouri State University name, logos, or accounts that represent a college, division, department, or program. Southeast branded accounts represent the University. 

Use of social media must comply with all applicable University policies, guidelines, and regulations, including but not limited to: Board of Governors policies, Division of Human Resources policies,   Finance and Administration  policies, and  the Department of  Information Technology ’s  standards and procedures.   These guidelines also apply to any student, faculty, or staff member posting on behalf of the University on any affiliated account .  

Users must not post confidential information about Southeast Missouri State University, its faculty, staff, or students.  When talking with fans, friends, and followers, remember to maintain and protect their privacy. Be vigilant and aware of  HIPAA and  FERPA privacy requirements.   

Content managers must follow all platform guidelines for community standards. These guidelines include but are not limited to:  

How Southeast Uses Social Media 

Organic Posts 

Southeast uses social media to support brand awareness and engage with our community. Organic posts are the way we do this. These posts are free and are usually published using a social media scheduling tool. We may also target these posts to reach a particular audience and increase our engagement.  

Paid Posts  

Like organic posts, paid posts are used to expand the reach of Southeast’s social media. However, as the name suggests, paid posts advertising requires a budget. We pay to boost or promote content on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, and more. 

Training 

If you are seeking social media training please fill out the Request a Review form on our Planning Worksheets page and send the form to Digital Marketing Strategist, Jasmine Adams, at  social@semo.edu . If you do not currently run a University-affiliated account please email  social@semo.edu  to schedule a training appointment  before creating an account.    

Social media training consists of two levels. All training participants will begin at Level I and move to Level II at a later date.  

  • Level I training  
    • Why does social media matter?  
    • Should you have an account?  
    • Branding  
    • Best Practices  
    • Resources
  • Level II training  
    • Platform centered content  
    • User generated content  
    • Analytics  
    • Tips from the experts  
    • Resources  

Creating Sweepstakes or Contests 

Before jumping into a contest on social media, make sure your posts are legally compliant before you make them public. Please contact University Marketing before running a contest or sweepstakes. 

Below, are the promotion rules by platform: 

Review the following article for more on the best practices. Your Guide to Facebook and Instagram Contest Rules 2020.

Posting Personal Comments 

  1. Identify yourself and be clear that you are sharing your personal views and that they do not represent the views of the Southeast Missouri State University. If you discuss higher education or issues related to Southeast, it is suggested that you add the following disclaimer: "The views expressed here are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect those of Southeast Missouri State University." 
  2. Never pretend to be someone else and remember that tracking tools may trace the authors of supposedly anonymous posts. 
  3. Refrain from harassing, abusive, threatening, intimidating, endangering, fear-provoking, dishonest, deceptive, coercive, or harmful language toward others. A criticism or other statement of opinion, expressed in a respectful manner, is not prohibited by this guideline. 
  4. You can be held legally liable for what you post on your own site and on the sites of others. Legal liability may arise for comments that are proprietary, copyrighted, defamatory, libelous, or obscene. 
  5. Do not post unapproved projects. If projects you worked on at the University have not been approved for publication, do not post them on your personal website until the University has done so. 
  6. If you are a member of the faculty or a teaching assistant and wish to use social media to relay information and discuss class topics with students, take care to notify students of whether material posted on the site will remain private or will be shared publicly. Consider providing students with the choice to opt out of participation in social media sites, or permit them to use aliases if they have privacy concerns. 
  7. If you require use of social media a part of course participation, allow students the option of creating a unique personal account to be used expressly for this purposes; however, should the student choose not to, the student should be reminded that posts on the personal account regarding the course or Southeast will not be considered personal or private. 
  8. Do not use Southeast’s name to promote or endorse any product, cause, political party, or candidate. 
  9. Protect your personal information from identity thieves and scam artists. Do not provide your home address, telephone number, work e-mail address, or work phone number. Consider creating an e-mail address that you use only for social media sites. 
  10. Participate responsibly in online communities by following a code of ethics. There are many codes of ethics for bloggers and active participants in social media. If you have your own social media site, you may want to post your own code of ethics. 

Crisis Communications on Social Media 

When crises occur, many times our students and their parents look to our social media pages for communication from the University. The process of communication followed at Southeast during a time of crises begins with top University officials. Once they designate a message that is fit for communication, University Communications staff will share it through email, text and through the SEAlerts pages on social media. 

Sign up to receive SEAlerts here 

After the information is sent out, University social media accounts will share and post the message on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

Crises include but are not limited to: 

  • Bomb threats 
  •  Active shooters 
  •  Armed intruders 
  •  Nearby gunshots reported by campus or city police 

Other alerts may be related to weather or city ordinances that affect the Southeast campus. These alerts may include but are not limited to: 

  • Tornado warning 
  • Tornado watch 
  • Earthquake 
  • Gas leak/hazardous materials spill 
  • Flooding 
  • Winter storms 
  • Campus closures 
  • Boil water orders or advisories 
  • Power outages 
  • Fire

Please contact Digital Marketing Strategist, Jasmine Adams, with social media questions, Digital Marketing Strategist, Kayla Miller, with questions pertaining to the social media of Southeast Online, or Director of University Marketing, Tonya Wells, with any further marketing questions. 

jdadams@semo.edu  

kmmiller@semo.edu  

twells@semo.edu  

Brand 

The Southeast Brand has been cultivated to inspire the Will to Do in all Redhawks. Our presence on social media should do the same. 

Please refer to the Brand section of our website for the color palette, typography, and graphic language you are expected to uphold on University-affiliated accounts. Bold. Youthful. Resilient. Keep these words in mind when writing and creating content for social media. Your content should fall in line with all other University communications. 

Southeast social media accounts should clearly identify the program or department represented, including using a properly branded avatar. Please make sure SEMO is included in the name of the account. Include SEMO in the account handle if possible. 

Example - @SEMORedhawks or SEMO Redhawks 

NOT – SEAthletics or @SoutheastAthletics 

Posted content must reflect Southeast’s brand tone and stay on target with official key messages that have been established by the department or organization represented by the social media account. 

Platform specific content 

When you step into the world of social media, the possibilities seem endless and maybe a little daunting. But when you break your content up based on the platform it will be used on, what to create and what to say becomes clearer. We hope you’ll use effective strategy and sensitivity when posting on social media. This will aid you in getting positive results from your account. 

Link It 

If the information you want to promote exists on a website, link to it. Maintain your website and use social media to drive people to it. 

Sometimes Less is More 

Communicating through social media is different from academic writing. Replace your usual formality with a welcoming tone that invites engagement. Short and sweet is the name of the game. 

Accessibility 

Make sure you include alt text and closed captioning. Learn more about accessibility for webpages and documents before getting started. 

See these tips for accessibility tools on social media - 

Diversity 

Diversity on University social media accounts goes beyond race. We have students of varying religions, genders, abilities, races, and socio-economic backgrounds. 

What to watch out for 

  • Tokenism- If you’re only featuring a student or group because of a cultural holiday, you may want to take a step back. Diversifying your content means featuring students of all backgrounds all the time, not just when they fit the bill for a national month or holiday. In the same respect, choosing different students to speak on diversity topics is important. Try not to go to the same student or professor each time you’d like a ‘diverse perspective.’ 
  • Assumptions in language- Using language that assumes a student’s affluence or background can come off as demeaning or presumptuous. Referring to data about a population is one thing but making a statement about a group of people based on assumptions is never a good idea. 
  • Exclusive language- Language that excludes certain groups does not provide the welcoming environment we try to achieve at Southeast. Be inclusive in your speech because everyone has value and having a diverse population creates a comfortable space for everyone to learn. 
  • Real vs. desired depictions of campus - At Southeast, it is no secret that we have more female students than male students. When showing campus, keep your photos realistic. We want people to see what Southeast really looks like and not mislead our community. 
  • Transparency- As previously stated, we do not want to mislead our community. There will always be work to be done when it comes to diversity. Being transparent about our faults and how we are working to correct them should be our first reaction to questions about equity and diversity. 

Running University-affiliated Accounts 

As the manager of a social media account, you are now part of the community of service providers. You’re responsible for giving accurate and timely information for your audience. This means you’re responsible for managing the inbox and comments that come across your page. Please be aware that your audience will expect a level of knowledge about your given page topic as well as your moderation when discussions begin in the comments. 

Individuals who run the accounts may not express personal opinions or use University branding without authorization or accountability. 

When creating the password for your new account, consider account safety. Follow these tips for a strong password: 

  • Choose a long password 
  • Consider using a phrase instead of one word 
  • Use a different password for each account 
  • Make the password difficult to guess 
  • Do not share your password 
  • Use capitol and lower-case letters as well as numbers and symbols 

When a user clicks on your page, it should be apparent that you are affiliated with Southeast Missouri State University in both your branded content and the tone of your posts. If you are the administrator of a Facebook group, we ask that you use the wording below in your “About” section: 

Welcome, we’re excited to have you join us! This group exists for Southeast Missouri State University {students, parents, faculty, staff, donors, alumni, etc.} as a resource and as a place to connect with other {Redhawks, Alumni, etc.} So, introduce yourself and ask questions! If our admins don't know the answer, we will put you in touch with someone who does. 

Here, we value student success, excellence, access, diversity, and community. These values are built on the ideas of respect, accountability, celebrating diversity, and collaboration among students and staff. 

This Facebook account is officially recognized by Southeast Missouri State University; however, the views and opinions expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the University. Content posted by group members is the sole responsibility of the person who posted the information.  

We maintain a Zero Tolerance Policy on false information, bullying, racism, sexism, harassment and profanity. Any offensive material will be deleted and may result in removal from this group. Lastly, please do not post buy/swap/sell, crowdfunding, charities or other content that is not University-related.” 

Posting on Behalf of Southeast Missouri State University 

  1. Posting content on social media sites on behalf of the University requires authorization from University Marketing. 
  2. All social media accounts created on behalf of the University must be linked to a department’s administrative or resource e-mail account, never a personal e-mail account. More than one University employee must have administrative access to the account. In the event that a site requires an individual account, a unique account should be created expressly for this purpose. No employee or student should be required, asked, or permitted to use a private, personal account for the purposes of creating social media accounts on behalf of the University. Administrative access will be terminated upon the employee’s termination, voluntary cessation of employment, or assignment to another job. If, for any reason, a University department’s social media account is presently linked to an individual person’s e-mail account, that person relinquishes all rights to the account upon graduation, termination, voluntary cessation of employment, or assignment to another job. Social media accounts created on behalf of the University are the sole property of the University; creators and administrators have no ownership rights whatsoever. 
  3. Clearly state your role and goals when posting on behalf of the University. 
  4. Southeast’s trademarks and logos may not be used without approval. Contact University Marketing for an approved logo and other images to ensure coordination with other Southeast sites and content. 
  5. If a question or comment is directed to one of the University’s social media sites or pages, strive to respond in a timely and appropriate fashion. Supervisors should determine who will be permitted to respond directly to users and whether prior approval is required before issuing a response. 
  6. Keep in mind, posts may be viewed by anyone, anywhere in the world, and material can be copied and forwarded. In addition, search engines may find posts years after their publication dates. 
  7. Be familiar with the terms of service and policies of the sites and networks with which you interact and ensure that you follow them. 
  8. Be wary of posting links to another website, as they could contain viruses or imply the University’s endorsement of the linked site. 
  9. Do not publish any information that you have learned through your job, such as closings, cancellations, emergencies, or other non-public information, until it has been officially announced by University Relations or other authorized persons. 
  10. Do not cite or reference colleagues or co-workers without their approval. 

Inactivity 

Social media accounts require upkeep. Accounts that have not posted across several months will be ruled inactive. Social media personnel will reach out to account administrators or the highest-ranking officer of the department before requesting deactivation of the account from the platform. 

Changing Account Administrators 

When it is time to hand a social media account down to the next administrator don’t let the account information get lost along the way. First, remember to designate a new administrator before you are finished with the account. Next, let University Marketing’s social media team know that a new administrator will be taking over. Then, make sure you are no longer tied to the account as an administrator. Lastly, log out of the account on all devices. Contact our social media team with any questions at social@semo.edu. 

Reputation 

There are a few things Southeast expects of its faculty and employees, one of those is professionalism. When responding to a comment or posting an announcement please remain professional in your speech. Another important piece of the Southeast reputation is our welcoming nature. When on social media, let’s show some spirit and remain helpful to our audience. 

Keep in mind 

  • Any advertising, solicitation or overtly favorable acknowledgments or endorsements of political parties, candidates, third-party products and services is discouraged, except with express written permission of the University. 
  • Be aware of divisive issues in the general public. Be mindful of how you represent Southeast around those issues. 
  • Re-read your comment before hitting send. Make sure it can’t be easily seen as negative or inappropriate. If you have any doubt, don’t post it. 
  • Use direct messaging to address complaints when possible.  
  • If you are not sure how to handle a challenging topic or respond to a negative post, please contact us for guidance. 
  • Correct misinformation. If a user posts a false accusation or an inaccurate statement, don’t delete it. Instead, respond — in a respectful and friendly manner — with accurate information. 
  • If you come across profane or offensive language in a comment, please delete the comment. Southeast values diversity and equity, any comment that contradicts these values may be deleted.