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Suggestions for Creating a Social Media Presence

The Web Administration department maintains the college’s official Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and myspace presence. Individual departments are welcome to create their own social media platforms as they see fit, but are reminded that any content they post will represent the college online to a vast and growing audience. Departments are encouraged to inform the Terry Pyer, Hartnell College Public Information Officer of their plans to use social media platforms, and to receive initial guidance on effective social media strategy. In order to assure quality of content, the following social media guidelines were drafted for the Hartnell Community.

Before creating a social media presence, please consider the following questions.

1.     Do we need a social media presence? The answer is not necessarily always yes. In order to create a successful presence, new, useful and interesting content should be posted on a regular basis. Facebook pages should not be left static; the Web Administration department recommends posting several items per week that engage and interest your audience.

2.     Who will monitor our presence? Once a page is created, a faculty or staff member (or, for student organizations, a student) should be appointed as the account administrator. This person should monitor the account for comments and questions while gathering and posting engaging content on a regular basis.  The content manager must also actively monitor the page, especially on Facebook, for advertisements and inappropriate posts.

3.     What is our goal in creating a social media presence? Before creating new social media accounts, you should carefully consider what your goal is. Are you using the page to reach out to new constituents? To communicate with your current audience? To post updated information about your hours, programs, etc.? Having a clear goal before you create the page will allow you to have a consistent message throughout the open-ended lifespan of your presence.

 

Suggested Guidelines for Content Posting

1.     What should I Post? Content posted to your social media page should directly relate to your department or organization. This can range from text-based updates and relevant links to relevant photos or audio. The Web Administration department has found that the largest feedback in social media comes from engaging your audience directly – asking questions or directly soliciting feedback. Whatever is posted should be aimed at starting or continuing dynamic conversations with your audience.

2.     Can I Post This? Please remember that the activity on your social media pages will represent Hartnell College to a vast audience. Carefully consider your audience before posting any content, and remember to respect the rights and privacy of anyone included in or referenced in your posting.Do not post any copyrighted or questionably legal content, direct attacks on individuals or groups, libel, etc.

3.     Official College logos and photos: If you would like to use the official seal or wordmark of Hartnell College, or would like to make use of any of our existing high-resolution stock imagery, please contact James Fitch at webmaster@hartnell.edu.


Engaging your Audience

Social media, is, by nature, interactive. You should expect and encourage feedback and discussion on your pages in all forms. While your page moderator should closely monitor feedback, freedom of speech should be closely protected. Negative comments should not be deleted from the page – instead, respond to them in a constructive manner to encourage discussion. Some comments, such as attacks, improper language, advertisement or false statements should be removed as quickly as possible. If you are unsure whether or not a comment should be allowed, please contact Terri Pyer, Public Information Officer at tpyer@hartnell.edu.