Social Media Guidelines & Best Practices

To make sure that your social media efforts adhere to the design and policy standards of South Texas College, and that your efforts are not tied specifically to an individual South Texas College employee’s personal account, it’s recommended all official South Texas College social media accounts be coordinated with PR & Marketing’s Digital Services Manager.

Administrative access will then be assigned to those accounts. To request an account, contact PR & Marketing.

Unofficial Program Accounts

South Texas College academic programs and organizations may create unofficial social media accounts in order to market to current and prospective students.

Accounts MUST:

  • Be approved by Public Relations & Marketing.
  • Adhere to our social media guidelines and standards for accessibility in relation to graphics and videos.
  • NOT use the official multi-colored South Texas College logo. Accounts may use the jaguar or variants below:
  •  Provide admin access to Public Relations & Marketing’s Social Media Specialist. Access will only be used in emergency situations (e.g. account hacking, inappropriate content).
  • DISABLE chat or direct/private message (DM) features (if possible).
  • DISABLE any review features.
  • Include the below statement in the account description:
    • This account is an unofficial South Texas College social media channel managed by [PROGRAM NAME] faculty/staff.
  • ONLY share STC’s official post in the event of an emergency (e.g. flooding, active shooter, hurricane) or campus closure. DON’T create your own.
  • ONLY publish material related to South Texas College. Unrelated commercial material may be removed by PR & Marketing.
IMPORTANT: Student Clubs & Organizations cannot use the official STC logo in any variant. They must use the jaguar artwork.

Departed Admins

When page editors and administrators, especially students, have left the college and no longer require access to social media accounts, you must update your page roles immediately.

Proper Branding

Abide by the College Identity Standards.

Maintain South Texas College Confidentiality

Do not post confidential or proprietary information about South Texas College, its students, its alumni, or your fellow employees. Use good judgment and follow the college’s policies and federal requirements, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Please review South Texas College policies for more information on your responsibility as a South Texas College employee.

Maintain Privacy

Do not discuss a situation involving named or pictured South Texas College community members on a social media site without their permission. As a guideline, do not post anything you would not present in any public forum. Additional information on the appropriate handling of student and employee information can be found here.

Be Thoughtful

Before composing a message that might act as the “voice” or position of South Texas College or a division/department. Please discuss the content with your supervisor or the dean/chair of the division/department or his or her delegate. If you ever have any question about whether a message you are crafting is appropriate to post in your role as a South Texas College employee, speak to your supervisor before you post.

Respect College Time and Property

It’s appropriate to post at work if your comments are directly related to accomplishing work goals, such as seeking sources for information or working with others to resolve a problem. You should participate in personal social media conversations on your own time.

Be Responsible

What you write is ultimately your responsibility. Participation in social media on behalf of South Texas College is not a right but an opportunity, so please treat it seriously and with respect. Keep in mind that if you are posting with a South Texas College username, other users do not know you personally. They view what you post as coming from South Texas College. What you say directly reflects on the college. Discuss with your supervisor the circumstances in which you are empowered to respond directly to users and when you may need approval.

Be Accurate

Make sure that you have all the facts before you post. It is better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. Cite and link to your sources whenever possible.

Frequency

  • Assign an administrator who regularly monitors posts and content.
  • Create a content calendar with pre-planned content for slow periods. Aim for standards times for posting and updates.
  • Consider managing your social platform via Hootsuite to communicate and schedule.
  • While the recommended frequency depends on the platform, be sure not to overload your followers with updates.

Accessibility

It’s important to create content that EVERYONE can perceive. This extends to our social media channels where students and community may find information that would be important to their success. Please remember the following regarding social media accessibility:

  • DON’T post fliers (or images with large amounts of text) without adding the plain text details in the post.
  • Videos with spoken words must contain captions.
  • Provide a description of images posted.
  • Provide “Alternative Text” for images in Twitter.