Social Media: Getting Started
Social media can be a powerful way to communicate the Manhattan College brand and mission, which calls on us to positively impact our campus and the world around us. Our audiences are increasingly relying on social media to learn what being a Jasper is all about. Building a social media following is a responsibility, however, one that requires significant commitment and time. Oftentimes, the best way to promote your message is by using what already exists.
The Manhattan College institutional social media accounts already have thousands of followers each, and include the audiences you are trying to reach. Utilizing our existing branded accounts may be the best way for your message to reach the most people. To promote content relating to your specific area of the College through the branded accounts, contact the Marketing and Communication office, who may choose to promote your content at their discretion, based on its current content strategy, and the goals of each social platform. The College also has several effective campus communication methods, including:
- Daily Announcements and Daily Manhattan Email
- Events Promotion and the College Calendar
- The Campus Life Channel
- Listserv Emails
If you still feel that creating a department or area-specific social media account is a necessary means of communicating with your audiences, read on for our list of social media guidelines. These are not suggestions, they are requirements.
Please remember: by launching a social media account affiliated with Manhattan College, you are representing a brand (and a pretty great one, at that!), which we have cultivated and promoted for generations.
Representing our Brand
The Manhattan College mission calls on us to maintain faith and presence in God, respect for all people, education, inclusive community and social justice. These five pillars of a Lasallian Catholic education should shine through everything we post on all social media that is associated with our brand. Learn more about the Manhattan College mission.
The Manhattan College Personality
When you're trying to determine how best to represent the Manhattan College voice and tone, it is best to review College communication channels (i.e. websites, e-mails, stories, social media channels). Then ask yourself the following:
- Which phrases, words or ideas do I see time and time again? In multiple places?
- What kinds of stories are being told again and again?
- Who is being featured?
Use the style and language used to promote our institution as a model, and put your own spin on it.
Logo Usage and Branding
All campus and academic departments at Manhattan College are required to use the official Manhattan College shield logo as their profile image on social media. Specifically, the shield logo with a white background, green shield and lettering, are to be used. Users are not permitted to create customized logos with decorative images, as per the College's brand policy.
Download this version of the logo here, and resize accordingly.
Departments are also not permitted to use their department's lock up, the customized version created by Marketing & Communication.
The naming conventions for all departments on social media should mirror (or as close to) that which appears on the Manhattan College website, and the description/bio should be an addition to that.
Name: Marketing & Communication
Bio: Providing the tools, resources and services to promote Manhattan College.
We understand that often, social media platforms have character limits, but we're trying to stay within these guidelines as best as possible. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions related to these guidelines.
Managing Your Social Media Account(s)
Although we tend to think of social media as more spontaneous, there is significant planning and content strategy that should be used to manage every single account associated with the Manhattan College brand.
If you are one department or organization, consolidation is key; creating fewer accounts per channel (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) is preferred. Try partnering with other organizations that share your mission and audiences. Not only will this help you build a larger audience, you'll also have more content to post!
**Please note: the office of Marketing & Communication is not currently approving new department-specific social media accounts if it is determined that a higher level account may best serve the audience/population. In order to gain approval, new accounts must have a developed strategy and implementation plan and have an assigned account administrator and backup.
All College social media accounts in existence prior to 7/7/2020 must have account administrators and backups assigned and registered within 90 days of the policy's issue date. Both of these roles are required for the social media application.
Who is responsible for preparing and posting? Will this person also monitor and respond to community feedback? It is advised that 1-2 people manage each account, to maintain a similar voice and tone throughout. Your audiences will be able to tell!
Once you have chosen a channel and are ready to plan your posts, consider the following:
- What will you be posting? Determine and consider the audience you would like to connect with. Will you use original content, or are you sharing from another source, photo or video? Refer to the goals of each social platform when deciding this.
- Why are we posting this? How does it align with the strategy and brand/mission of Manhattan College?
- Where will this be posted? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Modify posts according to the voice and tone of that particular channel.
- What day/time? Consider the best times of day to post, based on the audience and content you're posting.
- Who will review performance?
It is highly recommended that every account maintain an editorial calendar, created by providers Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or Sprout Social. Content strategy requires a lot of time, attention and work, and should be monitored every day throughout the week. Posts should be created based on the above criteria.
According to our policy guidelines, the main e-mail address for your academic or campus department or organization should be the one associated with your social media account (i.e. email@example.com), not a personal e-mail account. If the department e-mail is already in use, use that of a sub-department e-mail. This way, the department always has access, and is not locked out if the previous social media manager is no longer with the College.
Faculty/administrators: if your division's social media manager is a student, there needs to be an employee supervisor who has access to usernames/passwords at all times, and shared with at least 1-2 people in the department.
Know Where You're Posting
Each social media platform has a different aesthetic and set of goals. Please consider your audience and post accordingly.
Facebook: This is the most popular social site, allowing you to reach nearly every demographic on the face of the Earth. Posts should be short and visual, and geared to appeal to as many types of groups as possible. Posting once per day, or 3-5 times per week on this platform is optimal.
Twitter: News and conversation travel seemingly faster than the speed of light on Twitter. Feel free to post 3-5 times per day, but be sure that all posts are relevant to your audience and are necessary to post. Sharing (i.e. retweeting) posts is encouraged on this platform, but all the content you post should be your own.
Instagram: Have beautiful photos that capture our bucolic Riverdale campus? Here's where you post them. Instagram is currently the most visual social platform, and should be used as such. Note: event flyers, articles and/or internet memes unrelated to the brand should not be posted on Instagram. Instead, include event flyers as part of an Instagram Story. Learn more about how to use Instagram Stories.
Voice and Tone
Facebook: Facebook is where our voice is friendly, but also tends to be the most formal and institutional. As a guide, try and imagine that you are addressing attendees of an alumni networking event, or contributing to an organized discussion with a prominent alumnus or alumna.
Twitter: We are comfortable here, but not too comfortable. Posts should be quick and punchy, but also thoughtful and appropriate based on the setting and context.
Instagram: Instagram is visual, and we use this platform to capture our very essence of campus. Photos of students studying or an engaging image of a campus event are suitable posts for these areas
Brand Standards and Review
For your profile image, a department lockup created by the Marketing and Communication office is required. You may not use the main Manhattan College shield logo for your profile image, nor may you create your own logo.
In the bio section of your profile, it should be clearly stated that your account is associated with Manhattan College. For instance, on Instagram, your name should either read Manhattan College Italian Club or it should be included in the bio of your profile: Example: The Center for Academic Success (name). A student resource at Manhattan College (bio).
After a period of 6 weeks, the Marketing and Communication office will review your social media account, and, if it is determined to be noncompliant with the Manhattan College brand standards in any way, you will be asked to delete the account, or we will request to have it deleted. MarCom periodically reviews all social media accounts to ensure compliance. If at any time an account is deemed noncompliant, it may need to be removed.
Register Your Manhattan College Social Media Account
Submit the following form to request an approved Manhattan College social media account to represent your department, initiative or specific area of the College.
As a reminder, the email address you sign up with is required to be the main account for your department. See above for details.
Please note: registering your account with us is required for it to be associated with the Manhattan College brand.
Personal Use of Social Media
All faculty, staff and administrators who speak about Manhattan College publicly from their personal social media accounts must do so in a manner that is respectful to others, and follows these guidelines set forth by the College:
- Please be respectful online. When you identify yourself as an employee of Manhattan College in the bio of your profile or in posts, you are connected to our employees and students. Please keep that in mind when posting from your personal account.
- Communicate online with respect for others. Remember that information shared via social media is generally public information that could easily be viewed by anyone.
- When posting about the College, use a disclaimer (ex: these opinions are my own and are not those reflected by Manhattan College). Representation of personal opinions as being endorsed by the College is strictly prohibited. Manhattan College’s name or marks may not be used to lobby, endorse any opinion, product, private business, cause, or political candidate.
When communicating from your personal account, you are prohibited from:
- Sending messages that may be considered harassing, offensive or threatening. Posting hate speech regarding a group’s race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation when such expression presents a hostile environment, constitutes harassment or otherwise warrants restrictive actions. (See More)
Who files the complaint: system or network administrator or member of the targeted group. who receives the complaint: dean of students or dept. chair/director, dean of school/provost/affirmative action officer (ie the office of Diversity, Equity and Title IX.
When posting from your personal account about matters related to Manhattan College, it is unacceptable to display information that reveals confidential information or defames the College, our mission, its employees or students.
Employees and persons representing the College are responsible to protect against unauthorized access to and improper disclosure or use of private or personal information relating to students, employees, applicants, or any third party information in possession of the College. This responsibility extends to protecting against unauthorized access to and improper disclosure or use of the financial, planning, or any material or intellectual information resulting from your employment with the College. Disclosure of confidential information may/will result in termination from the College. (See More)
Manhattan College's institutional social media accounts exist to keep our various communities (including alumni, parents, current and prospective students, employees and friends of the College) informed of news and updates related to the College. We support open dialogue for issues affecting our community and welcome comments on the posts we publish on our institutional channels. However, we reserve the right to moderate the social media comment sections as necessary in order to protect our students, faculty and wider College community.
As per these guidelines, we will remove a comment if it:
- Contains language considered significantly offensive
- Compromises the safety of Manhattan College students or any member of our community
- Contains a direct threat against another member of our community
- Constitutes as discrimination or sexual harassment
- Targets a specific member of our community (ie: administrator, staff, faculty, student) in an offensive manner
- Implies or motivates violence
Manhattan College also reserves the right to remove users and messages that are "spam," which includes messages that are irrelevant or unsolicited.