What the guidelines will do
- Provide Loyola University Maryland faculty and administrative staff with guidelines for using social media in an official university capacity.
- Ensure that social communications adhere to Loyola’s core values.
Who the guidelines govern
The guidelines apply to anyone from the Loyola community, who oversees and maintains a social media account that represents a Loyola department, program, or related entity in an official capacity.
Why we have guidelines
Guidelines help the University establish best practices for organization and uniformity of message and branding while minimizing risk to social media managers.
Who administers the guidelines
Loyola’s office of marketing and communications oversees the University’s social media guidelines and its primary social media accounts. All social media-related questions and inquiries should be directed to MarComm at email@example.com.
All policies outlined in the Loyola Staff and Administrator Policy Manual apply to your conduct on social media when representing the University. A review of section VIII (code of conduct) is recommended, with particular attention to:
- Copyright Policy (sec. 8.3)
- Harassment and Discrimination Policy (sec. 8.6)
- Workplace Violence (sec. 8.9)
- Information Security Policy (sec. 8.20)
For potential breaches of section VIII (code of conduct) of the Staff and Administrator Policy Manual, contact the director of human resources generalist services at x1367 or assistant vice president of human resources at x1350.
Please keep in mind that anything posted on social media could potentially be perceived to reflect the views of the university as a whole.
Questions or concerns? Contact MarComm to discuss best practices for effective and appropriate content.
Role of Account Administrators
Account administrators have responsibilities beyond occasionally posting news and information about their respective department/program/organization/event. Individuals who manage, monitor, and maintain social media accounts affiliated with Loyola University Maryland are encouraged to:
- Actively maintain social media accounts and post content.
- Interact with audience and monitor comments.
- Accept full responsibility for all content posted on social media channels.
- Share account login information with the MarComm team and one other colleague for security and business continuity.
- If the primary contact is no longer responsible for an account for any reason, MarComm should be notified and sent new contact information for interim/new administrator. Consult with MarComm to discuss metrics and strategy when launching a new account, consider adding the account to Loyola’s Social Media Directory, and consider follow-up consultations as needed.
Logo/Branding/Naming of Account
Social media accounts affiliated with Loyola should adhere to the University’s official branding guidelines.
The minimum brand requirements are as follows:
- Account handle should begin with “LoyolaMD” so that users can identify University accounts—particularly as there are several institutions, including high schools, other universities, and churches, named for Loyola. Account names for a single department, program, or office, should be as consistent as possible across all platforms in use.
- Examples of this include @LoyolaMDAlumni, @LoyolaMDSGA, and @LoyolaMDPeaceandJustice
- The account’s bio or about section should contain these elements:
- Title that includes the full name of the University as well as the program or department name, e.g., Loyola University Maryland’s Alumni Association, Rizzo Career Center at Loyola Univeristy Maryland, Loyola University Maryland Campus Ministry, Loyola University Maryland’s First-Year Living Learning Program (Messina).
- Brief description of the account.
- Tag Loyola University Maryland main page on native platform.
- Include a URL to the program or department page within loyola.edu where relevant; if none exists, link to the main website: www.loyola.edu.
- Include any hashtags relevant to the account or Loyola brand, e.g. #LoyolaReady.
- The logo for your account cannot be the official University logo or Loyola Athletics logo (unless the account is an athletics program).
- If MarComm has created an official logo for the entity the account represents, use that logo should appear in the correct dimensions. If logo needs to be resized, please contact the MarComm team. If you would like to create a new logo that matches Loyola’s branding guidelines, submit a project request.
- If you’d prefer to create a logo on your own that is outside of Loyola’s branding guidelines, be sure the logo clearly and accurately represents your department/program/organization's brand and message. The logo must be in the proper dimensions and approved by the MarComm team.
- Please see Social Media Guidelines (link here) for proper dimensions per social media platform.
- Some social media platforms require cover photos, i.e. Facebook and Twitter. For cover photos, please use a high-quality photo sized to spec that embodies the account. This can be a picture of the building it is located at, an integral part of the organization, or a specific event hosted by the organization.
- Social media users will interact with your page/profile and your content 24 hours a day, and often they expect some form of response or acknowledgment, particularly to questions about your program, event details, navigating University resources, or contacting someone for more information. Comments could be positive, negative, neutral, self-serving, nonsequitur, or wholly random in nature. For these reasons, it is critical to monitor comments and discussions on your channels: Encourage fans/followers/friends/connections (users) to comment and interact with content and one another.
- Engage in conversation/answer questions in real time.
- Tag @LoyolaMaryland and other relevant university account that may provide more information or context for the user in posts.
- Tag @LoyolaMaryland on positive comments that could be reshared at the University level.
- Monitor conversation outside normal business hours as appropriate.
- Monitor third party conversations/mentions (e.g., monitoring a Twitter search of “Loyola University Maryland”).
- Regularly review comments and conversations on accounts for offensive comments/spam/solicitations or promotions from users and hide or delete this content as appropriate.
- Err on the side of “don’t delete.” You shouldn’t delete something simply because you disagree with it. Contact MarComm if you are unsure or need further guidance.
- Contact MarComm for guidance on blocking/banning fans/followers who are abusive or offensive, or who consistently disregard community etiquette.
- If you believe any comment violates section VIII (code of conduct) of the Staff and Administrator Policy Manual, contact the director of human resources generalist services at x1367 or assistant vice president of human resources at x1350.
If you maintain a personal, publicly visible social media account and publicly identify your primary representation in that account as an employee of Loyola University Maryland, you are encouraged to include language in your profile similar to the following: “The thoughts expressed here are my own and do not reflect the views or opinions of Loyola University Maryland” or “Thoughts are my own.”
In most cases, your affiliation with Loyola will be one of numerous forms of public identification in the account (e.g., most Facebook and LinkedIn profiles), so you will not need to consider including this language.
- If your personal account is primarily used for university purposes (e.g., the Twitter account of an athletics coach), you do not need to include this language.
- If your privacy settings are such that only a close circle of connections can view your activity (e.g., a personal Facebook page with the privacy settings set to “Friends only”) and/or the content you post is not publicly accessible, you do not need to include this language.
Social media accounts associated with student-led groups, clubs, honor societies, and activities should be approved by MarComm and are subject to University guidelines. If you are an administrator for a new student organization account or if you are a student who manages an account that has not been registered, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with information regarding said account and its purpose to be given approval, University recognition, and guidance.
During any crisis or incident of disruption, the first social media source for official University information will be the main university social media channels maintained by MarComm. Admins of all other Loyola-affiliated social media accounts are encouraged to disseminate official information after it has been released on the University’s flagship social media channels (Facebook and Twitter). Admins should make every effort on social media to direct users to the University’s primary social media channels for official updates during a crisis.
- Example of what NOT to do: Post “Loyola is closing early” on your Loyola-affiliated Facebook page before the University has made the announcement on its Facebook page (announcement will be made via social media/email/homepage simultaneously, per MarComm communication strategy and protocol).
- Example of what to do: Loyola posts closing information on its Facebook page; you then share the post on your affiliated Facebook page.
If, on any of your social media channels, another social media user expresses dissatisfaction with a person, department, program, entity, or anything else affiliated with Loyola but outside your office or department, notify the appropriate person in the other office/department immediately and determine whether a response is warranted.
- For legitimate complaints, a response in some form, even just to acknowledge the complaint and let the user know you will send them a direct message within the platform, is generally encouraged. Contact MarComm for guidance.
Any media inquiries received via social media or about content or comments posted on your account should be referred to MarComm. In general, all media inquiries should be forwarded to MarComm in a timely fashion.
If you have any questions, contact MarComm at x5025 or email@example.com.