Managing a Social Media Account: Best Practices and Expectations

Before requesting to create a social media account for your department or program, please make sure you have approval from the dean, program chair or manager.

Consider having another page administrator for your social media account, so that the account can continue to be updated regularly, even if one of the existing administrators is not available or on vacation. Make sure if you do have another account administrator that the approver for the account is aware and agrees on the administrator designee.

Social media presence requires consistent planning, posting, monitoring, and content creation. You will need to commit time and resources to check in on these sites at least a few times each day, and post content several times a week. If you can’t commit to posting frequently and monitoring the accounts, reconsider jumping into social media at this time. An account with infrequent posts and low-quality content is a detriment to your department as well as the Institute as a whole. If you start a social media account and then realize it is not meeting your needs or the needs of your audience, it is best to close the account rather than leave it inactive. If an account is left inactive for a couple of months, the Institute reserves right to ask the department/program to deactivate the account. If you are concerned you can’t make the commitment at this time but still want to contribute and share on social media, consider sending content to for posting on the Institute accounts. This is a good way to get your work out to the Institute and broader community, but without the commitment of managing a social media account. The Office of Strategic Communications is always looking for great content to share with the community and will consider all suggestions.

Make sure that you have all the facts before you post. It’s better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. Cite and link to your sources whenever possible — that’s how you build trust with your followers.

Double-check your grammar and spelling. Have someone proof your posts before posting; this helps ensure errors get caught ahead of time. A second set of eyes for editing and proofing is best practice in a communications strategy.

Monitor Comments and Replies

Social media is meant to be a dialogue and garner discussion. Understand that not all comments and replies will be positive — respond to negative comments professionally by providing any additional information that may help resolve the issue. Talk to the person that is sponsoring you to set up the account on the onset. Ask them how they would like to approach negative comment monitoring. Every situation is different, but it is suggested that negative comments be brought to the administrator of the department/program for council. As a reminder the Office of Strategic Communications can help advise on how to respond to sensitive situations on social media. Always remember that social media is a public space and when dialogue gets out of control, moving it offline could be the best course of action for someone who is upset.