Best Practices

Social Media Best PracticesSocial media is a great way to connect with a number of audiences and build personal relationships. The following are best practices to keep in mind if you run a Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) social media account, or your own personal account.

Be Authentic.
When you post online, talk as if you would in a real life conversation and build a relationship with your audience. Write in first person and use personal pronouns such as “I,” “You,” and “We.”

Be Concise.
You do not want to write a novel on a social media site. Remember: short, sweet, and to the point.

Be Accurate.
Correct grammatical and spelling errors quickly. If you have questions about whether it is appropriate to write about a certain topic, consult your supervisor or Communications, Marketing & Public Relations.

Be Respectful.
Anything you post in your role as a CPCC employee reflects on the institution. Be professional and respectful at all times. Do not engage in arguments or debates on your site. Understand your posts may encourage comments or discussion of opposing ideas. Responses should be considered carefully in light of how they would reflect on the college. All responses should be courteous and professional.

Be Confidential.
Do not post confidential, proprietary or protected information about students, employees or other members of the CPCC community that would violate FERPA or HIPAA laws.

Listening to what others are saying about your brand is one of the most important components of being active on social media. “Listen” to maintain a clear and current understanding of what is relevant and of interest to the community.

Engage and Interact.
Offer comments on interesting posts and share the good work of others using your sites. Social media is not only about sharing your news and success, it’s about sharing information that is of interest to your audience.  If you see a post that you think requires or would benefit from an official college response, please contact Communications, Marketing & Public Relations.

Be Active.
A social media presence requires a lot of attention and time. If you do not have the time or resources to check in on these sites at least a few minutes each day, and to post new content several times a week, utilize CPCC's social media instead. Your site is only as interesting as your last post.

Be Timely.
One of the great benefits of social media is the ability to share information instantly on a global stage. This timeliness is also one of the expectations of that audience. Be prepared to move quickly in response to new developments, announcements or emergencies with relevant information on your site.

Remember, Everything You Do Online Can and Will Live Forever.
Think before you post. Remember anything you share on social media can and will be shared, stored and spread globally. Do not post anything online you wouldn’t feel comfortable seeing front and center on a news outlet.

Accept and Monitor Comments.
A social media site without comments isn’t very social. Be prepared to accept and respond to comments. Understand not all comments will be positive, and respond to negative comments professionally and provide additional information that may help resolve the issue. Post a disclaimer on your site stating you reserve the right to remove inappropriate comments. Remove those comments containing vulgar language, those that attack any one group or individual and those that are obviously spam.

Separate Personal From Professional.
Balancing your professional and personal social media presences can be tricky, particularly if you are an avid user of both. Content that is appropriate and of interest to your personal friends is most likely not appropriate or of interest to your department’s “friends.” Keep these two presences as separate as possible by keeping content about your non-work life on your personal page.

Be a Valued Community Member.
Don’t just talk about your program or department – share the best information you find from trusted sources outside of campus. This will increase the value of your site.