5.0 Social Media Guidelines

5.1. Introduction:

5.1.1. Social Media Platforms

Common social media platforms covered by these guidelines currently include (but are not limited to):

  • Social Media: Facebook, X (Twitter), LinkedIn, Instagram, Discord, TikTok, Threads
  • Micro-blogs: Tumblr.
  • Blogs: WordPress, Blogger.
  • Photo and Video Sharing: YouTube, Flickr, Picasa, Vimeo.
  • News Sharing.
  • Bookmarking: Digg, Delicious, Pinterest.

5.1.2. Who is Affected

These guidelines apply only to social media accounts created to represent Chapman University or any school, college or organization that receives the majority of its operating revenue directly from Chapman University. These guidelines and official endorsement do not apply to student organizations at this time.

Programs, departments, institutes, initiatives and centers should not have their own channels and should instead leverage the existing accounts of their school or college to maintain consistent branding and prevent fragmentation.

5.1.3. Who is not Affected

Social media activities by faculty and staff that are considered “personal sites” are not covered by this guideline. However, we expect university employees acting in an individual capacity to communicate clearly that they are not representing or expressing the views of Chapman University. Personal/individual sites maintained by faculty and staff that inherently represent the university must comply with this guideline.

If a “personal site” states that a staff member works for or is affiliated with Chapman University on their account, the below disclaimer must be included.

Views expressed are mine and do not represent those of Chapman University.

We consider a site or account owner to inherently represent the university if the owner consciously and consistently uses his or her web presence to indicate an affiliation with Chapman University. Examples of someone who we would consider an inherent representative of the university include a faculty member who primarily uses his or her Twitter account to communicate with students, or an administrator who uses a Facebook page to share work-related information with subordinates, or a staff member who blogs primarily about his or her work at Chapman University.

Clubs, organizations and other non-official accounts that are affiliated with Chapman University must not include the official “Window” profile picture and must not include any language claiming officiality.

5.2. Criteria

We have established certain criteria to determine when and how Chapman University officially endorses a social media site. These criteria ensure that the university is represented in a fair, accurate, and legal manner while protecting the brand and reputation of the institution.

Official endorsement means the social media site will be listed on the university’s website and, whenever feasible, will be linked to, promoted, and featured in marketing and communication activities. To obtain and keep an official endorsement, you must take the following actions.

5.2.1. Before a social media account is created with the intentions of officially portraying the university, it’s schools, colleges, or offices, please reach out to your strategist within SMC to begin the conversation of the tools available to communicate to your audience. Schools and Colleges may not create new TikTok accounts. Any school, college, or office intending to create TikTok content must do so in collaboration with Institutional channels by contacting SMC. Official Facebook and Instagram pages must be housed under the Chapman University Business Manager for high-level management to ensure that ownership to the page is maintained by the university at all times. Therefore, all new pages on these platforms must be created through SMC. This is simply for admin redundancy – SMC will not be posting, commenting, or acting on behalf of your account at any time.

5.2.2. Register the name of the proposed site and the name(s) of the persons responsible for providing content with the University’s Social Media & Digital Marketing Specialist before the account is created.

5.2.3. Ensure that the content appropriately represents the University, and that the social media site is compliant with internet best practices such as privacy rules, disclaimer statements, contact information, ADA and Brand compliance. Social Media resources to assist can be found here. ADA and Brand compliance includes but is not limited to: Refraining from the usage of product promotion, stock images and text-on-image.

5.2.4. The content of a disclaimer may vary, but a comprehensive statement might include:
All information provided on this site is for social networking purposes only and does not constitute a legal contract between the university and any entity unless otherwise specified. Chapman University does not guarantee the information contained in these sites nor information contained in links to other external web sites, and does not endorse any views expressed or products or services offered therein. Any links to external web sites and/or non-university information are provided as a courtesy. They should not be construed as an endorsement by Chapman University of the content or views of the linked materials. These sites are unmoderated forums containing the opinions and expressions of the persons who post the entries.

5.2.5. Clearly indicate in the description that the social media account is the official representation of the unit and legally associated and affiliated with Chapman University.

5.2.6. Include a disclaimer statement regarding the content and opinions that appear on the site.

5.2.7. Agree to post frequently so you build awareness and generate followers. The Digital Marketing team will contact the unit representative concerning sites that are not updated within 14 consecutive days (YouTube accounts should be updated at least once per month). We will remove any sites that are not updated over a period of 14 consecutive days from the university’s social.chapman directory and website until consistent postings resume. Special consideration will be given to affiliated units whose social media accounts revolve around one annual event. Sites not updated after 21 days will be subject to closure. Accounts that have been reached out to regarding posting frequency must display six months of posting regularity thereafter or will be subject to closure. No new accounts will be considered during the six month probationary period.

5.2.8. Monitor replies and comments, and responds promptly and appropriately. Unanswered questions or unaddressed concerns may generate negative posts that reflect on Chapman University’s social media effort as a whole. (Best practice suggests checking and responding at least twice daily.) See commenting guidelines here. A member of the Digital Marketing team will contact the unit representative about any sites that fail to address follower concerns, questions, or comments over a period of 14 consecutive days. Any sites not addressing follower concerns, questions, or comments over a period of 21 consecutive days will be removed from the university’s Social.Chapman directory and website until consistent responses resume. Sites must not remove or delete comments on their pages without proper reason. Social media sites should not be treated like web pages, but two-way communication channels. For response guidelines, we are working on a Social Media Response Tree. Sites not addressing follower concerns, questions, or comments over a period 30 consecutive days will be subject to closure.

5.2.9. Ensure that all social media writing is professional and grammatically correct. Please view the Writing Style Guide. Review your comments and postings. Edit or correct all spelling and grammatical errors immediately. If editing the post is unavailable, make corrections in the comments section. Sites with repeated spelling and grammatical errors will be removed from the university’s social.chapman directory and website. The style of individual college or department writing may be playful, cheerful, and witty; however, the voice of your college or department should be consistent and in line with your department’s established personality and goals.

5.2.10. Adhere to the same standards of conduct and communication that are expected in the workplace. Respect privacy laws. Do not include confidential information about the university or its faculty, staff, or students. Posting confidential information and violating the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) will result in immediate removal from Chapman directories and marketing collateral. Post accurate information. Clarify and consult sources before posting. Be mindful of intellectual property rights and copyright rules. Cite, link, or tag original sources whenever possible. Avoid content that could be interpreted as obscene, offensive, threatening, or illegal.

5.2.11. Adhere to Terms of Service (or Terms and Conditions) as defined by the social media website that you are using. In accordance with social media Terms of Service, brands (departments and colleges) must use brand pages and profiles provided by the social media service. Brands must not use human profiles or accounts to connect to or communicate with online users. Human profiles will not be considered for endorsement or listing on the university’s website properties or print collateral.

5.2.12. Social media pages should operate independently from each other. The university does not support linking social media pages together. Accounts that propagate identical messages across media will be removed from the university’s social.chapman directory and website.

5.2.13. You cannot use Chapman University’s name or logos/marks nor an officially endorsed social media site to indicate official support of any product, private business, cause, or political candidate.

5.2.14. Affiliated units are prohibited from entering into advertising agreements with social media sites. Any affiliated unit wishing to purchase advertising on social media sites must work with Strategic Marketing and Communications to achieve their goals.

5.3. Responsibilities and Clarification

We encourage anyone whose job responsibilities include posting to social media sites to contact the Digital Marketing team at any time for advice, assistance, and consultation.

5.3.1. The Digital Marketing Strategist is responsible for administering this guideline.

5.3.2. The Digital Marketing Strategist:

  • Supervises the endorsement process and monitors endorsed sites.
  • Approves social media icons on web pages.

5.3.3. Chapman University has the right to remove (or cause to be removed) any content from any site maintained in the name of the university for any lawful reason, including but not limited to, content that it deems to be threatening, obscene, a violation of intellectual property rights or privacy laws, or otherwise injurious or illegal.