Social Media Administrative Procedures

  • Overview

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    Social media is an effective communication platform that engages, informs and provides insights into the culture of Eastern Michigan University while connecting with students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, local community partners and EMU supporters.

    Eastern’s social media channels create community through sharing valued content (news, photos, videos, etc.) via digital applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and YouTube.

    The Division of Communications is responsible for the management of Eastern’s official primary social media channels and serves as a liaison to other University units (divisions, colleges, schools, departments, programs, offices, etc.) who use social media to ensure collaboration and sharing of best practices.

    All Eastern units are required to complete a registration process and follow the Social Media Administrative Procedures when representing the University via social media channels.

    This document provides the official procedures for EMU units as they create and manage social media accounts. Recommendations focused on how to properly portray and promote the institution, while maintaining a personal and professional image unique to each unit, are also provided.

  • How to use This Information

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    In an effort to ensure that all EMU units (divisions, colleges, schools, departments, programs, offices, etc.) are aligned with the social media efforts of the University, this document will help you navigate the world of social media while upholding the University's brand and communications standards.

    This document will provide procedures, guidelines and recommendations as you:

    • Assess your social media needs
    • Develop strategy and a social media plan to support your unit’s goals
    • Navigate the process of setting up a new social media channel
    • Register existing social media channels
    • Monitor and manage social media channels
    • Implement best practices for social media

    The Division of Communications Social Media Team is available to provide support, guidance, clarification and encouragement to all EMU units who want to use social media to enhance communication and expand reach beyond the campus environment.

  • University Social Media Directory

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    Official Eastern social media channels are listed in the University Social Media Directory, which can be viewed online. Official channels are those that have completed the registration process described in the social media administrative procedures manual and continue to follow the stated procedures and guidelines in the document.

    Maintaining a list of official social media channels gives potential followers the assurance that the channels represent EMU in an official capacity and provides easy, one-click access to follow a channel.

    The following social media channels serve as the primary digital communications channels for the University:

    Upon completion of the registration process (described in this document), additional social media channels will be considered official and will be included in the University Social Media Directory.

    The University Social Media Directory includes the name/description of the EMU unit and a URL for each channel.

    A notation on the University Social Media Directory web page states that if a social media channel does not appear on the list, they are not considered to be an official University channel. The word “official” and the official Eastern Michigan University marks and logos may not be used by those channels.

  • University-Wide Social Media Strategy

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    The overarching strategy for all EMU social media channels is to reach a target audience with messaging that enhances the image and reputation of Eastern Michigan University, an institution of opportunity with a diverse campus community, particularly as it applies to academic quality, the student experience or student recruitment.

  • Development of Social Media Strategy for Your Unit

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    An effective social media channel that represents Eastern should be run professionally, providing content that engages the audience and communicates everything that is best about your unit (division, college, school, department, program, office, etc.).

    If your unit is interested in setting up a social media channel, you should be able to answer these questions:

    • What goals are you trying to achieve?
    • Who is your target audience?
    • Which social media channel is the best fit for your target audience?
    • Who will be responsible for daily oversight of your social media channel? Who will monitor posts and comments on a daily basis?
    • Who will be responsible for posting content on a regular basis?
    • Will the content you post on social media be different from your website content or marketing materials? Will the content be the same?
    • How will your content engage with your audience?
    • How will you use social media metrics to understand the impact of the channel and monitor its growth?

    Once you have answers to these questions, they will form the basis of your social media strategy. For social media success and impact, it is imperative to create a social media strategy that includes goals and a plan for content creation and consistent posting.

    The Division of Communications Social Media Team is available to assist you as you work through these questions and develop a social media strategy for your unit.

    Keep these recommendations in mind as you consider which channel to choose for your unit:

    Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn

    Establish a schedule for posting content that is manageable for your team and appropriate for your followers. Consistency is an important component for growing a channel.

    Snapchat

    It is recommended that EMU units not set up their own Snapchat accounts. Instead, contact the Division of Communications Social Media Team to arrange a “takeover” of Eastern’s official Snapchat channel to promote your unit and events.

    YouTube

    Producing video content can increase visibility and generate engagement, but significant planning and investment of time is required to produce high-quality content that will represent a unit and EMU in the best light possible. The frequency of publishing video content is less important than the quality of the content (unless you have announced a series of videos with specific timing).

    It is also important to note that all videos produced by any unit of Eastern must be closed captioned in order to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for accessibility. This requirement is not optional; it is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for all public universities. This applies to all videos regardless of whether they reside on an EMU web page or are accessed through links provided on the website or via social media.

    It is recommended that EMU units not set up their own YouTube accounts. Instead, submit videos to the Division of Communications Social Media Team for review and posting on Eastern’s official YouTube channel where it can be viewed by a greater number of followers.

    When submitting a video for publishing on the EMU YouTube channel, the unit must provide a description of the video and keywords to the Division of Communications Social Media Team. Upon review and approval, a playlist for the unit will be developed.

    Once a video is posted, you can easily share/post a link or work with the Division of Communications Web Team to add the video to your unit’s website.

    Pinterest

    It is recommended that EMU units not set up their own Pinterest accounts. If a unit would like to use a Pinterest account, contact the Division of Communications Social Media Team to discuss the purpose and plan for the channel.

  • Registration Process: New Accounts

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    All EMU units (divisions, colleges, schools, departments, programs, offices, etc.) must complete the following registration process:

    1. Choose a social media administrator who will be responsible for oversight of the social media account(s). The administrator must be a full-time employee of Eastern and will maintain login/password access at all times.
    2. Identify one or more social media content assistants. The assistants may be students, faculty or staff and may be part-time or full-time employees/students. Login/password access will be provided by the social media administrator.
    3. Complete the initial steps to set up the social media account. It is recommended that a unit’s general email address (i.e., [email protected]) be used rather than a specific person’s email address as the primary email address, if possible.
    4. Complete the social media account registration electronic form. The link to the form can be found here and on the Division of Communications website in the Support Center section. The form requires the following information:
      • URL for the social media application account
      • Email and/or screen name for account
      • Names and contact information for social media administrator and social media content assistants
      • Electronic signatures of the social media administrator and the head of the unit (Note: If the social media administrator and the head of the unit are the same person, the electronic form will need to be electronically signed by that person’s supervisor.)
    5. Upon completion, the form will be routed automatically via email to the next approver.
    6. When all approvers have electronically signed the form, it will be routed to the Division of Communications Social Media Team.
    7. Upon receipt, the form will be reviewed by the Division of Communications Social Media Team. The head of the EMU unit will be contacted to verify authorization of the social media account.
    8. The new social media account will be added to the online University Social Media Directory as an official social media channel upon completion of these steps.

    If a social media account is created without completing the registration process and does not follow procedures as stated in this document, the channel cannot represent itself as an official EMU channel. The word “official” and the official University marks and logos may not be used on the channel and the channel will not be listed in the official University Social Media Directory.

  • Registration Process: Existing Accounts

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    All existing social media accounts that represent an EMU unit (division, college, school, department, program, office, etc.) must complete the registration process described above.

    Those who are currently managing social media accounts should initiate the registration process. Contact the Division of Communications Social Media Team if you have questions or need assistance.

    Upon completion of the registration process, existing social media accounts will be added to the online University Social Media Directory as official social media channels.

    If a social media account was created without completing the registration process and does not follow procedures as stated in this document, the channel cannot represent itself as an official EMU channel. The word “official” and the official University marks and logos may not be used on the channel and the channel will not be listed in the official University Social Media Directory.

  • Annual Renewal Process

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    All social media accounts that represent an EMU unit (division, college, school, department, program, office, etc.) are subject to an annual renewal process. The Division of Communications Social Media Team will contact each unit to gather updated contact information for the social media administrator and the Social Media content assistants for each channel. The Division of Communications will send an email to all employees annually regarding the renewal process.

    If the contact information changes at any time during the year, the unit’s social media administrator should notify the Division of Communications Social Media Team immediately, rather than waiting until the annual renewal process occurs.

    Upon completion of the annual renewal process, the online University Social Media Directory will be updated with current official social media channels.

    If a social media account does not participate in the annual renewal process and does not follow procedures as stated in this document, the channel cannot represent itself as an official EMU channel. The word “official” and the official University marks and logos may not be used on the channel.

    If a channel is found to be inactive, the Division of Communications Social Media Team will work with the EMU unit to deactivate the account or reassign it to a different group within the unit.

  • Oversight of Social Media Channels

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    Eastern Michigan University welcomes and encourages comments and open discussion on our social media sites and blogs. We make reasonable efforts to monitor participation to ensure comments stay on topic and are courteous and inoffensive to others.

    Eastern Michigan University reserves the sole right to review, edit and/or delete any posts or comments it deems are inappropriate for any reason. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:

    • Content that reveals confidential or personally identifiable information about an individual, group or organization
    • Content that is disrespectful, has an aggressive tone or contains vulgarity, obscenities or profanity
    • Content that communicates (even in jest) an individual getting hurt, attacked, threatened or humiliated
    • Content that could be judged as racist, bigoted, hateful or demeaning to an individual, group or organization
    • Content that encourages or constitutes discrimination or harassment
    • Content that might be perceived as supporting potentially illegal activity such as the use of illegal drugs or underage drinking
    • Content that violates city, state or federal laws and regulations or copyright laws
    • Content that is related to potential or existing legal matters
    • Content that endorses any particular view, private business, commercial promotion, candidate or particular cause
    • Content that is off-topic or is considered to be spam
    • Content that represents EMU in a negative light

    Eastern Michigan University reserves the right to terminate a person’s ability to post comments or materials or otherwise participate on EMU social media channels if there are repeated violations of these restrictions.

    As Eastern Michigan University social media sites are open to the public, any comments or content posted may be used by EMU for internal and external promotional purposes and it is acknowledged that other participants may use posted content outside of our control.

    All links to other websites found linked from EMU social media sites are provided as a service to readers, but does not constitute endorsement or responsibility of content on external websites.

  • Role of the social media administrator

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    A unit’s social media administrator agrees to take on the following responsibilities:

    • Maintain responsibility for the login and password for the social media accounts you oversee.
    • Maintain list of approved content assistants for those accounts.
    • Change password immediately when anyone with access leaves the University for any reason (resignation, termination, graduation, etc.).
    • If the account is set up to handle multiple user names/emails, immediately delete those users from the account when they leave the University for any reason (resignation, termination, graduation, etc.).
    • Frequently monitor the social media channel to ensure content being posted is accurate, appropriate and represents your unit in its best light.
    • Support and encourage the efforts of your content assistants as they seek to share information and build community to benefit your unit.
    • Ensure that no personally identifiable information or breaches of confidentiality occur on the social media channel.
    • Immediately take down posts or comments that are inappropriate (see the Oversight and Confidentiality sections) or ask a Content Assistant to remove them.
    • Immediately change the account password and remove access for a Content Assistant if they make any posts or comments that are inappropriate (see the Oversight and Confidentiality sections). If the social media administrator decides to give that Content Assistant access again in the future, they must have a discussion with that Content Assistant about inappropriate content as described in this document. The social media administrator should also discuss the decision with the Division of Communications Social Media Team. Should the Content Assistant post inappropriate posts or comments a second time, they should not be given access again at any time in the future.
    • Report matters of safety, concern, security or potential crisis to the Division of Communications and the Department of Public Safety.
    • If the person who is the social media administrator changes at any time during the year, immediately notify the Division of Communications Social Media Team and provide updated contact information.
    • Confirm contact information for content assistants annually with the Division of Communications Social Media Team.
  • Setting up new Social Media Accounts

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    The Division of Communications Social Media Team will be happy to offer advice on which social media channel might be best for your unit and is available to help you through the setup process.

    If you think your unit has existing channels, take time to ask others who might be in contact with those who previously ran those channels. If you are able to track down the login and password information, reactivating a channel may be a good option.

    Your unit also may have an existing shared EMU email address that you might want to use as the social media account login. This allows easier transition when faculty or staff leave Eastern. A new shared email address may be requested from IT via the itservice.emich.edu portal.

    To set up a new social media account:

    1. Complete registration process described in previous section and wait for approval from the Division of Communications Social Media Team.
    2. Identify an account name that can represent your unit. (This account name would have been included on the registration process form.)
    3. Identify the email address and password that will be used for the account. (This email address would have been included on the registration process form.)
    4. Go to the social media application website (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and set up the account.
    5. Populate the profile and “About” section for the account, which may require a logo, website address, email, phone number and/or description of your unit. Keep your target audience in mind as you describe your unit in the profile.
  • Content Management

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    It is recommended that content be posted consistently. You should also retweet, re-post, like or share relevant content from other EMU social media channels or channels related to your industry or profession.

    Each account should be monitored daily to identify any customer service questions or requests from your followers. Daily monitoring is also required in order to identify any inappropriate posts or comments that should be taken down.

    Content should support Eastern’s mission and values of the University. EMU units are encouraged to develop an authentic voice that is appropriate for the target audience.

  • Content Creation

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    Any and all content should be posted with the understanding that the content can be viewed and redistributed by the general public.

    Content should be appropriate for the general public. Content should be constructed in a positive, respectful manner and not be construed as negative or degrading. All social media administrators and content assistants should post in a professional manner consistent with the voice/authenticity of your unit’s channel.

    Post using “we” instead of “I” to represent the EMU unit (division, college, school, department, program, etc.). As an educational institution, it is imperative that you use proper spelling, grammar and terminology in all posts. If a post contains a mistake, correct the mistake as soon as possible.

    Consider these tips for creating compelling content:

    • Consider the interests of your target audience, as well as trends in the industry/profession of your unit.
    • When possible, use good-quality photos or graphics to help posts stand out.
    • When possible, post original content. Tap into the expertise of your team and link to articles or blogs they may have posted.
    • Plan and produce a Facebook live or Instagram story. Prepare a script or outline in advance and if it will be live, practice it out loud several times so that you come across as confident and knowledgeable.
    • Check the EMU website, your unit’s website and EMU Today for interesting news or stories and post links to those.
    • Check industry and professional websites for news or articles that might be of interest to your target audience.
    • Consider planning an interesting series of posts (i.e., student of the week, professor of the month, alumni success, academic program of the month, etc.).
    • As appropriate, post fun memes or seasonal graphics (i.e., national pizza day, first day of spring, pumpkin spice season, etc.)
  • Use of University Marks, Icons and Logos

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    Social media channels should feature the unit’s official name and a current, approved EMU logo. University colors (green and white) should be used if the application offers color or theme design options.

    The University’s official marks, logos, identify standards and guidelines may be downloaded from the Division of Communications web page. If assistance with resizing is needed, contact the Integrated Content team.

    If a customized social media icon is needed for a social media channel, contact the Division of Communications Integrated Content Team. Customized graphics cannot be created by anyone other than the Integrated Content Team and must be approved prior to use.

    If a social media account has not completed the registration process and does not follow procedures as stated in this document, the channel cannot represent itself as an official EMU channel. The word “official” and the official University marks and logos may not be used on the channel and the channel will not be listed in the official University Social Media Directory.

    If necessary, the Division of Communications will work with the University’s Legal Affairs department to remove EMU branding from channels that misrepresent their relationship to Eastern.

  • Use of Copyrighted or Proprietary Materials

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    social media administrators and content assistants may create and post photos, videos and artwork to show the appeal and character of EMU or to enhance the subject of a post.

    Before posting, sharing or distributing copyrighted materials, however, secure the rights and permissions to use the materials. This includes, but is not limited to, art, music, photographs, texts, videos (or portions of) and any information that may be copyrighted or proprietary.

    If you are taking original photos or filming original video as part of a feature story/post about a specific person, you must get a signed waiver for that person. The photo and video waiver form can be downloaded from the Division of Communications website. Signed waivers should be kept on file for three years by the social media administrator.

  • Confidentiality

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    Sharing of information that is not available to the public is prohibited. Please follow these procedures in order to ensure confidentiality for the University, EMU units (divisions, colleges, schools, departments, programs, offices, etc.) and all individuals within and outside the EMU community:

    • Do not post confidential or proprietary information about any person, business or organization.
    • Do not post content that could potentially create a security risk for any person, business or organization.
    • Do not post personally identifiable information about any person. This includes screen names, personal photos, work or home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, EIDs and work or school information.
    • Do not use social media to collect personal information from users. Most websites’ terms and conditions, as well as state and federal laws, impose requirements and restrictions that govern collection of personal information.
    • Understand and follow all policies related to confidentiality, such as FERPA, HIPAA and EMU Employment Policies & Procedures.

    The social media administrator is responsible for ensuring that no personally identifiable information or breaches of confidentiality occur on the social media channel.

  • Moderation of Posts and Comments

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    Since social media is all about community, engagement and interaction is vital to the growth of EMU social media channels. Followers are encouraged to comment on posts, tweets, blogs, photos, videos, links, etc.

    The social media administrator and the content assistants should monitor social media daily and respond appropriately to comments or questions. Response may include liking, retweeting, sharing or responding with an answer or resource option.

    Should any comments be posted that are not appropriate (see the Oversight and Confidentiality sections), the comments should be taken down. In some cases, it may be necessary to block or mute users who consistently violate the restrictions described in this document.

    Contact the Division of Communications Social Media Team if you are unsure of whether a post is appropriate.

  • Fundraising/Crowd Funding Activities

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    All fundraising and crowd funding campaigns must be coordinated by the EMU Foundation. The Foundation will work with EMU units to set up links for crowd funding and donation opportunities. The Foundation will collect funds and distribute them to the units and will also be able to provide appropriate tax forms to donors for their crowd funding and charitable donations.

    The inclusion of any GoFundMe, KickStarter or non-EMU Foundation monetary transaction links on any website or social media channel representing EMU is prohibited.

    The EMU Foundation can be reached at 734.484.1322.

  • Protocol for Compromised/Hacked Social Media Channel

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    If a social media account has been hacked or compromised, the social media administrator or a Content Assistant should follow this protocol:

    • Immediately change the password for the social media account.
    • Immediately follow the protocol posted on the social media outlet’s website to report the incident.
    • Contact the Division of Communications Social Media Team for further advice and guidance. The Division of Communications will notify EMU IT and will then work with the EMU unit to implement IT’s requirements.
    • If you have regained control of the channel, review all posts and comments and immediately take down any offensive material. (Take screen shots or photos with your phone if time permits.)
    • If the control of the channel cannot be regained quickly, the Division of Communications will communicate appropriately to warn users about the hacked account.
    • Report any offensive or threatening posts to the Division of Communications and Department of Public Safety.
    • The Division of Communications Social Media Team will review this protocol periodically at the All University social media meetings that are held monthly for social media administrators and content assistants from across the University.
  • Inactive Social Media Accounts

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    The Division of Communications Social Media Team will periodically monitor the social media channels that are listed on the University Social Media Directory to ensure that they are still active.

    If a social media channel is not actively used, the Division of Communications Social Media Team requests that the channel be taken down to eliminate confusion and ensure that search engines find active EMU channels.

    Please contact the respective social media application’s website for removal guidelines. Contact the Division of Communications Social Media Team if you need assistance with this process.

    In some cases, another group in the unit may want to take responsibility for the channel. The Division of Communications Social Media Team will be happy to assist with this process.

  • Sharing Posts

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    EMU students, faculty and staff are encouraged to repost, retweet and share information and posts on official EMU social media channels.

    Sharing news, photos, videos or commenting about Eastern Michigan University through social media can be an effective way to create positive impressions and help build the EMU brand.

  • Ongoing Education and Consultation

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    The Division of Communications Social Media Team hosts All University social media meetings each month. Best practices, current trends, appropriate and inappropriate posting and challenges are discussed at each meeting. Periodically the procedures for handling a compromised/hacked account are discussed, as well as how to avoid posting personally identifiable information or causing security risks when posting.

    Contact the Division of Communications Social Media Team if you would like to participate in monthly meetings, connect with others at Eastern who are managing social media channels or schedule a meeting to discuss social media for your unit. The monthly meetings are posted on the EMU Calendar on the website. The Social Media Team also communicates via an online networking application, which is open to social media administrators and content assistants.

  • Important Links

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    The following links provide details about institutional, legal and government requirements, policies and laws:

  • Contact Info

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    Contact the Division of Communications Social Media Team at 18 Welch Hall, 734.487.0389 or [email protected] if you need assistance or have questions regarding social media or the social media administrative procedures.