Thinking about making social media a part of your department's communications efforts? Here's what you need to know.
Questions to Consider
When deciding whether a presence on social media may be right for division or department, we encourage you to consider and answer these questions prior to creating an account:
- Who are you hoping to communicate with? Who is your audience?
- What information do you hope to share with your audience? What will your content be?
- Is there a significant need to communicate regularly and consistently with your audience, outside of your current communications efforts?
- Do you have enough information to share / content ideas to last the entire year, including over summer and winter breaks?
- Does your division/department have the bandwidth to make social media a success?
- Do you have the capacity to maintain a social media presence and check social media daily?
- Will anyone in your division/department be assisting?
- What happens if you go on vacation?
The Communications Division is happy to help you determine whether the social media space may be the right place for your goals.
If you are thinking about creating a social media account or are transitioning the management of an existing account to another account holder, interested parties should meet with the Digital Content Manager, Brittany Martin (email@example.com) or Director of Athletic Branding & Content Strategy, Erik Oakley (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Athletics accounts, prior to taking action. Requesters should demonstrate a significant need to communicate outside of the College’s primary accounts, and to a sizable audience.
- Accounts for divisions and departments must be managed by a faculty or staff member of Lafayette College and represent a specific office, division, or department; those hoping to start an account on behalf of their department must have permission to do so from their department head.
- All accounts must be linked to a university email account, rather than a personal email account.
- Login credentials should be known by a minimum of two members of your division/department. Facebook accounts should have a minimum of two Lafayette College employees listed as administrators on the page.
- All Lafayette College affiliated social media accounts should maintain an appropriate name for their public handle, which uses “Lafayette” or “Laf,” depending on character limits of said social media account
- Facebook = 50 characters
- Twitter = 15 characters
- Instagram = 30 characters
- The “about” or “bio” section of your account should include “Lafayette College” or “#LafayetteCollege” (in full, not “Laf” or “Lafayette”) and your office/division’s name.
- For all athletics accounts, the “about” or “bio” section should read: “Official Instagram (or Twitter, or Facebook) of the Lafayette (insert sport here) team/program. #RollPards”
- Social media account(s) profile picture should be the office’s/division’s official logo; please reach out to Brittany Martin with any sizing requests and/or issues (email@example.com)
- Any add-on account (such as a Social Media aggregator or feed) should be managed by and maintained by the account holder. The Communications Division is available to teach account holder(s) about the aggregator, aid in its set-up, and troubleshoot as needed and as available
Type of Accounts at Lafayette College
Lafayette College social media can be broken down into three main categories: official, affiliated, and independent.
Official accounts are go-to sources for the campus community at large, and are managed by the Communications Division. Examples:
- Lafayette College
- Go Leopards
Affiliated accounts represent departments and divisions of the College that appeal to a large portion of students or community members but are not managed or maintained by the Communications Division. These accounts play an important, critical role in communicating with the Lafayette College community and should work with Communications to ensure guidelines and best practices are being followed. Most divisions and/or departments at Lafayette College are considered to hold affiliated accounts. Examples:
- Lafayette College Admissions
- Gateway Career Center
- Skillman Library
Independent accounts represent social media accounts for student clubs and/or organizations that are not directly managed by faculty and/or staff. These accounts may use “Laf” or “Lafayette” in their name and should use club-specific branding, not official Lafayette College branding. Accounts should be identified as student-run in the bios/about section(s) of their social media.
Social media that is for individual(s), including students, administration, faculty, and staff, is to be considered independent. An individual who holds a social media account and chooses to identify their connection with the College may consider including in their bio: Views expressed are my own.