Social Media Guidelines & Policies

Creating A Social Media Plan

"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." ~Yogi Berra

Before creating a social media profile, page, or account, you need to have some kind of plan or strategy in place for what happens after launch. One of the worst things you can do on social media is create an account because you feel you "have to be on Facebook," and then neglect it. To avoid this, have a social media plan. Here are the questions you should ask yourself and any colleagues in your department who will be assisting you with running your social media accounts:

  • Why should we have a (Facebook page / Instagram account / etc)?
  • What is our goal with this social media account?
  • Who is the audience?
  • Is this form of communication the best way to reach my audience?
  • Who will maintain this Facebook page/group?
  • How often will they/I post to it?
  • Does our team have the ability to capture engaging photography or video for this account?
  • Do we have enough content to regularly (once a week or more) post to this account?
  • How will we monitor private messages and comments?

Still feeling a little lost? Request Social Media Help, and our Digital Marketing Manager will set up a time to help you with your social media strategy.

Social Media Guidelines

  1. Add Value. Any piece of content we share on social media should add value to the lives of our community members. Value comes in many forms, and can be entertainment, reminiscing, education/information, opportunities to connect, or acknowledgement of successes, as examples. We should not post content just for the sake of posting it. It should serve a purpose.

  2. Be Respectful. We should never come across as derogatory or judgmental. We do not use offensive, obscene, discriminatory, or threatening language.

  3. Be Authentic. Remember, our audience is made of real people, not robots! They expect conversation on social media, so keep posts conversational. Be honest and relatable while still maintaining the integrity and intelligence expected of the Wesleyan community.

  4. Listen & Engage. Social media is different from other broadcasting methods because the platforms encourage (and expect) two-way communication. It’s important to actually listen to what our community is saying and understand how they are responding to our messages so we can better tailor our content to their needs and wants. Monitor your platforms and posts on a regular (see below) basis and be on the lookout for comments that may require a response. You might also find people who regularly engage with your content — acknowledge them. Look at other Wesleyan department profiles to see if they are sharing content that might be valuable to your audience as well.

  5. Be Consistent. The worst thing you can do on social media is create a profile and then rarely update it. As soon as you have your first follower, you have made a commitment to sharing valuable content with that person. Posting frequently is the key to building and fostering community. Recommended post frequency will vary by platform, but generally 2-3 times per week is the bare minimum of what you should expect to commit your time to when you launch a profile.

  6. Be Smart. Use your best judgment when posting content. Don’t share anything confidential, don’t advocate illegal activities, don’t violate copyright or trademarks, don’t endorse products, services, or politicians on university channels. Content should abide by other web policies and guidelines.

Any profile or piece of content that violates the above guidelines can be removed at any time by University Communications.

Wesleyan University Brand Guidelines for Social Media

When using social media on behalf of a Wesleyan office, program or organization, your channel should reinforce the Wesleyan brand. Everything you post on social media has the potential to impact Wesleyan’s reputation. Please keep this in mind and ask yourself “how will this affect Wesleyan’s reputation?” prior to publishing.

Please abide by the following brand guidelines:

  • All social media channels must display a Wesleyan branded profile icon obtained from University Communications. If you do not already have one, please contact Sami Jensen sjensen@wesleyan.edu to obtain a branded profile icon.
  • Each account should adopt the proper channel title syntax for branding consistency. For example:
    • Facebook pages and groups should begin with “Wesleyan University”
      • Wesleyan University Athletics
      • Wesleyan University Center for the Arts
    • Instagram and Twitter handles should begin with “wes”
      • @wes_athletics
      • @wescfa
  • Instagram and Twitter bios should include tags to main Wesleyan University accounts.
      • Example - Instagram: @Wes_Athletics: The official Instagram for athletics @wesleyan_u #GoWes
      • Example - Twitter: @Wes_Athletics: The official Twitter for athletics @wesleyan_u #GoWes
  • Whenever possible, mentioned Wesleyan (@wesleyan.university on Facebook and @wesleyan_u on Instagram + Twitter) or use Wesleyan hashtags (#GoWes #RollCards #CardinalPride). This adds legitimacy to your posts, helps us track + share it, and ties your channel to the university overall.

Terms and Policies for Each Social Media Network

In addition to following the above guidelines, you are also responsible for following the rules of each channel. Each social media platform has terms of service and conditions of use. Be sure to familiarize yourself with them: