Social Media Guidelines

Social networks are powerful communications tools that have a significant impact on our institutional reputation. While they present a great way to connect with your audience, they also have the possibility of many unintended consequences. Roanoke College has created the following guidelines to assist you when using social media.

Creating a Roanoke College Presence on a Social Media Site

By creating an account for your office or department, you should be prepared to maintain it and keep it updated, as you would with a department website.

The Internet Communications Manager must be granted administrator privileges for any new Facebook pages or Twitter accounts that are created for a Roanoke office or department.  This is to ensure continuity in the event that the page administrator is no longer able to maintain the page in emergency situations. The public relations office does not seek to control or maintain your page for you, just to have access.

If you have any questions, please contact the Internet Communications Manager in the public relations office to discuss the process and address profile naming conventions, graphics needs, etc. The images for all Roanoke affiliated social media pages will maintain a consistent graphic identity and can be coordinated through the Internet Communications Manager.

Any existing sites or pages that represent Roanoke College will be reviewed routinely and may be amended or, when necessary, removed.  All policies, procedures, and guidelines regarding College trademarks, names, and symbols apply to social networking sites.

When posting on behalf of Roanoke College

If you post on behalf of Roanoke College for a particular department or office, then the following guidelines must be adhered to:

  1. Terms & Conditions: You are expected to adhere to the Social Media Commenting Policy.
  2. Have a plan: Departments should consider their audience, their content, goals, and a strategy for keeping information up-to-date. You should plan to post something at least a couple times per week.
  3. Speak for your office:  Posts on social media sites should remain professional in tone and in good taste. Speak on behalf of your office or program only, not in a personal nature and not for the institution as a whole.
  4. Strive for accuracy: Get the facts straight before posting and review content for grammatical and spelling errors.
  5. Be responsible: What you write is ultimately your responsibility. Participation in social media on behalf of Roanoke College is not a right, but an opportunity, so please treat it seriously.
  6. Copyrights: Respect the copyright of others. This means don't steal photos or videos that other people have shared and pass them off as your own. It is not legal to copy and use images that you find online.
  7. Privacy: Be aware of and follow FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, protecting students' personally identifiable information in educational records.

When posting as yourself on your own personal social media pages

  1. Confidentiality: Protect confidential and proprietary information of Roanoke College.
  2. Logos: While you may use Roanoke College's logo, you may not use Roanoke's name or logo to promote or endorse any product, cause, or political candidate.  Roanoke's trademark and logo guidelines can be found here.
  3. Identify views as your own: Identify views as your own. If you identify yourself as a representative of Roanoke College, make it clear that views that are expressed are not necessarily those of the college.
  4. Using personal sites for work: If you need to connect regularly with your constituents on a personal level through social media, then you might consider creating a separate Facebook profile just to use for work related purposes.  If you decide not to do so, then extra attention must be paid to ensure that your posts, even personal ones, are appropriate for your Roanoke College constituents to view. Never speak about Roanoke College, its students, faculty or staff in any way that could be considered disparaging or inappropriate. As a rule of thumb, if you are using your personal profile for work purposes, then you should not post anything you would not want College administrators to view. Some supervisors may require you to friend them with whatever account you are using to communicate to constituents so they can monitor how the College is being represented.

Updates and Contact Information

Due to the evolving nature of social media, these guidelines are subject to revision by the web team at any time. We also welcome feedback from the campus community. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:

Whitney Anderson
Internet Communications Manager
Public Relations
540-375-2241
wanderson@roanoke.edu