This is a guide for administrators of official Tyndale University social media accounts.
Tyndale University recognizes that social media platforms are becoming increasingly important forms of communications for our students, colleagues and the greater Tyndale community. These platforms can be great tools for interacting, and sharing news, events and resources.
With growing interest for departments, programs and groups to create and utilize social media platforms, the Marketing and Communications Department has developed this social media policy to serve as a guide for any faculty and staff operating an official social media account created to represent Tyndale University and its affiliates. This policy is promote proper social media usage within the Tyndale University community by providing a set of required standards for social media communication to ensure accuracy, consistency, integrity and protection of the Tyndale University brand.
This is the guiding policy for anyone who administers an official social media account, whether as a student or an employee. An official account is defined as any social media platform intended to correspond with the external and/or internal Tyndale community. This includes all accounts who use Tyndale’s name, logo or likeness, and all departments, programs, and clubs affiliated with Tyndale.
To learn more, please contact Marketing and Communications at marketing [at] tyndale [dot] ca.
While many departments often desire to have social media accounts, they are necessary in very few instances. Before requesting to start a social media account ask yourself:
- Will enough people realistically follow our account to make it a worthwhile time investment?
- Will we have a dedicated administrator who will have time to manage the account?
- What type of content do I intend to post on my account?
- Do we have a grasp on who our audience is and what our strategy will be in reaching them?
- Are there existing official channels sharing similar content?
- Are there existing official channels that are already reaching our intended audience (which would result in duplicating efforts)?
- Would it be more effective to have existing Tyndale accounts share updates from our area?
In the event that a social media administrator departs or changes jobs:
- Immediately remove admin access for the former employee.
- Notify the Marketing and Communications Department by email at marketing [at] tyndale [dot] ca
- Find someone to fill the administrator’s role
Each approved account must add a member of the Marketing and Communications Department as an administrator on the account. Although Marketing and Communications does not intend to actively engage in maintaining these sites, this will allow the university to properly track pages and ensure access in the event of an emergency or the departure of the main administrator.
It is important to have a strategy and to set goals for your department or organization’s social media account.
- Understand your audience. Who will realistically follow your social media account and why?
- Determine roles. Managing social media takes time. Have a clear understanding of who is responsible for posting and be clear on expectations and accountability.
- Set goals based on what you want to accomplish with social media (ex. grow audience by a percentage over a set amount of time, increase engagement, etc.) and be accountable to those goals
- Consult platform-specific analytics tools regularly, paying attention to who your audience is, what types of post work or don’t work, and what causes spikes in reach and audience growth. Let this data guide your strategy.
- It’s not all about the number of followers you have. Are you actively engaging with the ones you have? Set goals for engagement and measure success.
- Are users taking action with your content? What do you want them to do? Set goals and measure them. Track click-throughs on links and get a sense for the types of content your audience responds to.
When producing social content, it is of utmost importance that the profile and posts represent Tyndale University’s brand and message. Always keep the university’s mission, vision and values in mind when creating content.
All profile and cover images for your account should be done by the Marketing and Communications Department. Please work with them to ensure that imagery and logo use complies with the Tyndale brand standards.
Best Practices for Posting
Use sound judgment and common sense in all online communications. Remember that you are representing Tyndale. All of your posts, comments and actions on social networks have the ability to affect the reputation of the university as well as other individuals affiliated with Tyndale.
Ensure a consistent voice and staff appropriately. While student interns can be great collaborators on social media initiatives, they should not be the “owners” of official Tyndale social media accounts or profiles. Such profiles should be owned and maintained by staff and/or faculty as appropriate.
Moderate comments thoughtfully. Comments are an important part of social networking services. Do not delete comments simply because you disagree with the commenter’s point of view or because the commenter has reacted negatively. On the other hand, you should monitor social accounts or profiles for which you are responsible and delete comments that expose the private data of others, contain commercial solicitations, are factually erroneous/libelous, are off-topic, are threatening or abusive, or are obscene. If you encounter threatening comments on a post, please contact the Marketing and Communications Department at marketing [at] tyndale [dot] ca.
Tips to Enhance Engagement
- When posting news updates, be enthusiastic and always provide a link for further information.
- Ask questions, host a challenge or contest, invite audience feedback, and interact with users where appropriate.
- Promote your event in advance, then be available during the event to engage in conversation on social media (ex: hashtags and live tweeting). Finally, use social media to provide contact information and share relevant media/follow-up resources (ex: video of the event).
What to Avoid
- Do not publish a post without checking for spelling and grammatical mistakes. Always have someone else review your content.
- Only share content that has value for your audience.
- Never use obscene or derogatory language.
- Avoid excessive use of slang or abbreviations.
- Do not plagiarize. When using or posting online material that includes direct or paraphrased quotes, scripture, thoughts, ideas, photos or videos, always include citations/links to source material.
- Do not post confidential or proprietary information about Tyndale University, its staff or faculty, students, alumni or affiliates.
- Do not post identifying images of students on social media without first obtaining written permission. For non-students, verbal permission is required, and written consent is preferred. Never include names with photos on social media without getting the photographed person’s permission.
- Do not post sensitive breaking news topics or university emergencies on your platform if Tyndale has not shared it on corporate accounts.
- Posting personal opinions or emotions is prohibited. Do not use any official social media account to promote a particular political party/candidate or issue without permission from the university.
- Schedule posts. Using schedulers within the platform or third-party schedulers (ex. Hootsuite, Later, Buffer etc.) can help you plan and ensure a regular flow of content.
- Social media management is not a 9-5 job. Monitor what is happening on your social media pages and be ready to respond in a timely fashion.
- If you would like an important piece of news or an event to be shared on the University’s main social media channels, please contact the Marketing and Communications Department adhering to the timelines listed on the Marketing website.
For questions or clarification on this policy or social media concerns, please email the Marketing and Communications Department at marketing [at] tyndale [dot] ca.