Regulations Supplemental to University Policy 317, Social Media Policy
Effective September 28, 2020
I. Account Registration and Management
A. Account Registration
- Following the effective date of these Regulations, any new Social Media account that represents UNC Charlotte and/or one of its offices, departments, centers, colleges, schools, or programs must be must be submitted through the online account registration form for advance review and approval as Official Social Media Accounts. Proposals will be reviewed and approved by the Social Media Team in consultation with the Chief Communications Officer.
- All existing Social Media accounts that represent UNC Charlotte and/or one of its offices, departments, centers, colleges, schools, or programs must be submitted for review and approval as Official Social Media Accounts through the online account registration form by January 1, 2021. Following this date, such Social Media accounts will not be permitted to be publicized or used until they have been reviewed and approved by the Social Media Team in consultation with the Chief Communications Officer.
- Account Administrators for approved Official Social Media Accounts will have access to the official University branding to be used on the Account and will be listed in the University’s Official Social Media Account directory. (See Section III.A below.)
B. Considerations before Proposing Social Media Accounts
Before proposing a new Social Media account, the account creator should take into consideration the following factors:
- Creation of multiple Social Media accounts around related matters may lead to inconsistency in the collective University audience, reputation, and voice. Creators of proposed Social Media accounts should consider how creation of a new account might complement, create confusion, or detract from existing Official Social Media Accounts and their audiences.
- It is not always appropriate for all offices, departments, centers, colleges, schools, or programs to be active on Social Media or to have multiple Social Media accounts. A unit’s target audience should be determinative of whether Social Media accounts are appropriate.
- Social Media accounts are most effective when driven by a clear strategic plan. If there is no capacity within a unit to dedicate time, personnel, resources, and/or planning into a new account, that account may not achieve the unit’s desired communications goals.
- Creators of proposed Social Media accounts should make careful consideration of the type, availability, and frequency of content that they would use to populate the accounts before submitting the account for review and approval.
C. Registration Information
Before completing the Official Social Media Account registration form, the account creator should gather the following information:
- Identification of two Account Administrators that will adhere to the standards, practices, and responsibilities detailed in University Policy 317, Social Media Policy, and these Regulations.
- Statement of a clear purpose, rationale, and strategic plan for the new Social Media account or the existing Official Social Media Account.
- An appropriate proposed account name and handle, in accordance with the naming conventions in Section III.A below.
II. Account Administrators
A. Account Administration
- Each Official Social Media Account should have two University employees serving as Account Administrators. Requests for more than two Account Administrators should be sent to the Social Media Team for approval.
- When possible, each Official Social Media Account should be tied to a University email address easily accessed in the case of Account Administrator turnover or position vacancy. Example: email@example.com.
- Account Administrators must grant administrative access to Official Social Media Accounts they administer to the Social Media Team to support account administration turnover, manage capacity, and for assistance in instances of crisis management.
- Official Social Media Account passwords should be stored in a secure location and never shared beyond Account Administrators and the Social Media Team.
B. Roles and Responsibilities
- Account Administrators are responsible for the development, creation, and preservation of all Social Media-related strategies, plans, content calendars, etc. for the Official Social Media Accounts they administer.
- Account Administrators are responsible for ensuring the Official Social Media Account they administer use only approved account branding as set forth in Section III.A below.)
- In administering Official Social Media Accounts, Account Administrators are responsible for complying with the standards and practices set forth in University Policy 317, Social Media Policy, and these Regulations.
- Account Administrators are responsible for ensuring communication with the Social Media Team and their own unit’s administrative leadership regarding operations, process, changes or updates related to the Official Social Media Accounts they administer.
- Account Administrators serve as the gatekeepers for content appearing on the Official Social Media Accounts they administer. This includes verifying its accuracy, considering its timeliness, ensuring it is grammatically correct, aligns with the appropriate tone and voice, and follows the requirements and standards in University Policy 317, Social Media Policy, and these Regulations.
- Account Administrators are responsible for escalating potential issues or threats related to activity on the Official Social Media Accounts they administer to the Social Media Team and the Chief Communications Officer promptly.
- Account Administrators may not edit, hide, or delete public commentary or block any users on the Official Social Media Accounts they administer prior to consultation with and approval by the Chief Communications Officer, who will consult with the Office of Legal Affairs as needed to ensure compliance with the standards and practices set forth in University Policy 317, Social Media Policy.
- Account Administrators are responsible for actively and regularly monitoring conversations and topics occurring related to the Official Social Media Accounts they administer. This includes responding to comments, inquiries, and messages as appropriate. Such responses should be made promptly, ideally within 48 hours of posting.
- In the event an Account Administrator is unable to continue serving in that role due to a change in employment status or duties, that Administrator is responsible for notifying the remaining Account Administrator and the Social Media Team of the vacancy. Within a month of such notice, the remaining Account Administrator should identify a second Account Administrator responsible for that Official Social Media Account and notify the Social Media Team. The remaining Account Administrator is responsible for training the new Account Administrator on their roles and responsibilities under University Policy 317, Social Media Policy, and these Regulations.
- In the event of an emergency or crisis affecting the University community, a NinerNotice or NinerAlert will be posted on the Office of Emergency Management’s Social Media account as well as UNC Charlotte’s primary Social Media account. In such cases, Account Administrators for other Official Social Media Accounts should refrain from creating and sharing any original Social Media posts or commentary -- related or unrelated to the incident -- on their Official Social Media Accounts until receiving an advisory message from the Chief Communications Officer, crisis communication manager, their designee(s), or the Social Media Team with instructions about sharing messages or content. Account Administrators should not resume posting normal Social Media content or messaging until given approval by the Chief Communications Officer, crisis communication manager, their designee(s), or the Social Media Team.
III. Branding and Community Building
A. Account Branding and Naming
In an effort to present a consistent and authentic public presence of Official Social Media Accounts, branding standards specifically designed for use on Social Media have been developed using the University brand standards as a framework. The following branding assets and conventions are for Official Social Media Accounts use only, and should not replace official college/department sub-brand logos.
1. Profile Imagery
Upon approval of any Official Social Media Account, the Social Media Team will provide the Account Administrators with a digital profile image graphic approved by University Communications. The approved profile image is important to signify that the account is part of the University’s Network of Accounts.
2. Naming Conventions
Upon approval of any new Official Social Media Account, the Social Media Team will establish and provide to Account Administrators an official account name and @handle. These naming conventions are essential to making the Network of Accounts as searchable, visible, and as streamlined as possible to create consistent brand recognition across subjects.
3. Approved Graphic Templates
Upon approval of any Official Social Media Account, the Social Media Team will provide the Account Administrators access to a digital repository of approved templates and imagery for use on Official Social Media Accounts. This asset package is designed to give content creators a starting point in sharing content that falls within University branding standards while still maintaining the ability for customization.
B. Community Guidelines
When operating an Official Social Media Accounts, Account Administrators should first comply with University Policy 317, Social Media Policy, and these Regulations. Within that framework, Account Administrators are also encouraged to adhere to a set of Community Guidelines established by University Communications in order to ensure a supportive and thoughtful social community. (See also, University Policy 804, Standards of Ethical Conduct.)