Tennessee Tech Guidelines for Social Media Participation
The Tennessee Tech Office of Communications & Marketing (OCM) is responsible for the university’s official social media presence and serves as a resource to departments and units who wish to establish a presence of their own in the social media sphere.
The university uses social media to:
- Extend the university's reach and influence online by connecting and building relationships with key audiences, such as prospective students, current students, parents, alumni and community members
- Provide additional opportunities for these key audiences to communicate and interact with the university
- Provide additional channels for audiences to receive and share official university information
- Monitor the university's reputation as presented on social media
Pursuant to Tech policy, in order to use institutional branding and establish a social media presence on behalf of the university, you must:
- Establish and maintain a written social media strategy that outlines:
- Platforms you will use
- Audiences for each platform
- Content types and sources
- Plans for managing, posting and monitoring account activity
- Goals for your accounts
- Represent Tennessee Tech
- In all instances where the university name is abbreviated, use Tennessee Tech or TN Tech, never TTU
- Use appropriate university colors, logos and branding elements available in the marketing toolkit
- Use the profile photo template provided by OCM on all accounts unless given specific permission to use another image
- Use the page name and handle formula set by OCM to facilitate consistent branding across university accounts
- Be Professional
- Follow all existing university policies related to social media and web use
- Do not post confidential or proprietary information
- Employees using social media on behalf of the university still must follow all applicable federal requirements such as FERPA and HIPAA, as well as NCAA regulations
- Adhere to all applicable university privacy and confidentiality policies
- Employees who share confidential information do so at the risk of disciplinary action or termination
- Respect copyright laws - Do not use graphics or images that you do not own or do not have written permission to use
- Engage Respectfully
- Contact the Office of Communications & Marketing before deleting any user posts or comments for any reason
- Comments cannot be deleted from social media posts unless they contain statements or images that violate the established community standards listed within these guidelines or applicable Tech policy – justification for deleting comments is rare and must be considered carefully
- Respond to and make adjustments to any errors posted to your account quickly and respectfully
- If you choose to modify an earlier post, make it clear you have done so
- Engage with the audience if prompted. That means responding to questions, comments and misunderstandings that may result from your content.
- We suggest adopting a tone that fits with the following adjectives:
- When crafting content for your pages, consider the university brand story, describing Tech in terms of “Genuine Community,” “Transformative Experiences,” and “Your Opportunity.” Also consider the words “Bold,” Fearless,” “Confident” and “Kind” when describing students and the campus community.
- Keep in mind that a social media presence is more informal than, for example, a departmental web page.
- Always be helpful in responding to messages and comments. Never leave a question unanswered just because it isn’t for you. Always try to direct those who reach out to the proper office for assistance, providing contact information for the office or individual on campus who can help.
- Encourage users with concerns to engage with you in direct messages or offline. Providing a phone number or email address to connect and walk through concerns in detail directly is best.
- Social media should be worked into your overall communication plan. Social media is not a stand-alone, create-and-forget solution to your communications and marketing challenges and may not be a replacement for a university website or traditional viewbook.
- Use your best judgment; if someone posts something inflammatory, threatening, or otherwise seriously concerning, notify the proper authorities on campus and notify the Office of Communications & Marketing before taking any action.
- Tag other university accounts in your posts, when it makes sense, to help build a more connected university community. Consider using hashtags used by the main university accounts.
- Stay informed on changes and new features on social media platforms. Campus social media managers gather monthly to share ideas, collaborate and talk about current topics related to social media. These monthly gathering are informal and open to all interested individuals on campus involved in social media.
- Have a strategy for what your content will include, who will manage your accounts and how you will feed your creation. Accounts should always include content around recruitment, retention and Tech’s distinctiveness. The Office of Communications & Marketing is always available to assist with creation and consultation for social media strategy.
While campus units must abide by the guidelines listed here, those who engage with university content on social media platforms are also held to the university’s community standards for social media engagement:
We respect the opinions of our community and encourage engagement on social media. University social media accounts are limited public forums, and the university has the right to set the limitations for how those can be used. While removing content from university accounts is rare, we reserve the right to remove things that contain personal attacks, business advertisements, factually inaccurate information or inappropriate language or images. We may also remove comments or posts that are repetitive or irrelevant.