Social Media Guidelines and Policy
If you’re a Georgia College employee or a contractor hired by the university and you are creating or contributing to any GC social media, these guidelines are for you.
We expect everyone who participates in social media on behalf of Georgia College to understand and to follow these guidelines. They will evolve as new technologies and tools emerge, so please check them regularly.
Interacting with others
- Provide expertise and positive insight about the university to help create a bond and build a rapport with users.
- If leaving a comment, post something meaningful, encouraging, informative or respectful. Comments should always follow the social media posting policy.
- Before posting, re-read your comment to make sure it can’t be misconstrued as negative or inappropriate. If you have any doubt, ask someone else to read it before you post it.
- Respond to questions or inquiries in a timely fashion. Since timestamps often are published with posts, other users will know just how quickly you respond to them with accurate and relevant information.
- Disagreement should not be squelched. If you respond to a disagreement, do so in a professional and respectful manner. Respect proprietary information, content and confidentiality.
- Please use sound judgment and use the guidelines listed above when responding to direct messages or private messages. Respond to all inquiries as if they were being posted on a public forum. If a message appears to be spam, do not feel obligated to reply.
- Be transparent. If you’re discussing a GC-related topic, use your real name and title when applicable. Keep in mind that what you say officially represents the university and should be absolutely accurate.
- Respect student privacy. FERPA and HIPAA laws, as well as NCAA guidelines, are items that restrict discussion of Georgia College students, prospective students and patients on websites and on social media. NCAA rules prohibit comments about possible recruits on any university-affiliated social media pages. Before communicating to or about any prospective student-athlete, seek the approval of GC’s athletics office.
- Make sure your efforts to be transparent don’t violate the university’s privacy, confidentiality or legal guidelines for external communications. All statements must be true, accurate and not misleading. Never comment on any legal matters, litigation or parties with whom the university is in litigation without appropriate approval.
- Do your homework, and get help if needed. If a different person or department is better suited than you to post a reply or comment, invite that representative to participate.
- Engage in conversation and be friendly! Talk to your users like you would talk to people face to face in professional situations. Avoid composed, stilted and institutional language.
- Provide quality content for your audience that is accurate and up-to-date.
- Be responsible. If you make a mistake, admit it. People will notice if earlier posts change, so if you decide to make an edit, make it clear to all users.
- Respect protected material. Follow all policies and guidelines that dictate the use of official GC marks.
- Before posting, be sure to double check your posts for correct spelling and grammar. When in doubt, have someone else proof your post for you.
In most social media, the university is unable to pre-approve public posts to its pages or sites. The following steps should be taken to ensure the best experience for users.
- Clearly state in your site’s posting policy that you are unable to pre-approve content. Assure users that the site is regularly monitored (and actually monitor the site) and that content violating the posting policy will be removed.
- If a user posts a constructive criticism or a negative comment that does not violate the posting policy, don’t delete it. Instead, engage the user in conversation. Perhaps you can help solve a problem, winning over a disgruntled member of your audience. Always use facts in supporting your statements, and, when possible, include links. Not every negative comment warrants a response.
- 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 the accurate information. If a user posts an ignorant and/or offensive remark, you can use the opportunity to help educate the person without being condescending, pointing him or her to reliable resources and correcting false impressions.
- Where warranted, when removing a post, leave a reminder of your policies so users will better understand why the post was removed. Contact the individual who posted the deleted item, and remind him or her about the policies. Also thank the user for following Georgia College on social media, and encourage future appropriate participation.
- One of the most important things to remember when moderating social media is that these conversations take place somewhere on the Internet. Providing a forum for them gives the university a chance to monitor what is being said, to correct any misconceptions and to provide accurate information to all users. Removing a discussion from your site doesn’t eliminate the discussion. If you allow it to take place, users will stick around.
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
Georgia College welcomes participation on our official social media channels and encourages you to interact with us often. We hope to provide a forum for dialogue among the many diverse voices of our university, and we encourage comments about the content you find here.
Posts containing personal attacks, profanity, nudity, hate speech or illegal material are prohibited. We reserve the right, at our discretion, to remove any post or to revoke a user's privilege to post to our page.
Please be aware that we cannot immediately review every comment posted on the page. Opinions expressed in posts by fans, followers or other entities that are not originated by the official account are not necessarily those of Georgia College and its employees, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy of these posts.
Posts are to be used only for noncommercial purposes. You may not solicit funds or promote commercial entities. The only commercial entities that may be promoted are those that are officially affiliated with Georgia College, as outlined in the University's Sponsorship and Solicitation Policy, and are only allowed to be promoted by official employees of the university that are acting on its behalf.
All content posted by Georgia College is the property of Georgia College and is subject to copyright laws.