Social Media Policy & Guidelines
The following guidelines apply to all official SUNY Geneseo social media accounts. Views and opinions expressed by individual members of the college community through their civic writing or research do not necessarily represent the views of the College. Please contact our Social Media Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Official SUNY Geneseo Social Media Accounts
All social media accounts that speak on behalf of SUNY Geneseo, represent a college department or are administered or managed by college personnel to conduct official business are considered official SUNY Geneseo accounts.
This includes, but is not limited to, social media accounts promoting administrative and academic units, institutes, centers, or athletics teams.
This does not apply to student-run clubs/organizations or personal social media accounts set up by students, faculty, or staff for personal use.
- Account Implementation Standards
Before starting an official college social media account you must:
- Submit a Social Media Plan to College Communications & Marketing (CCM).
- Reference SUNY Geneseo’s Comment Guidelines on the account directly or linking back to your department’s web page that references the Comment Guidelines (short link: go.geneseo.edu/commentguidelines)
Refer to our social media directory for a complete list of current accounts.
Only SUNY Geneseo employees are authorized to launch and manage new social accounts.
- Account Owner Expectations
As part of the Social Media Plan for your department, you must have a designated account owner.
All account owners must:
1. Provide CCM’s Social Media Manager with an up-to-date name and contact information of the dedicated account owner.
- Account owners should also designate a back-up, as appropriate.
- Students cannot be account owners.
2. Delete or decommission accounts that are inactive or no longer needed.
- Official Account Expectations
All official SUNY Geneseo social media accounts are expected to abide by the following guidelines:
1. Adhere to all federal and state laws and regulations as well as college policies and guidelines.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- Privacy and confidentiality (FERPA, HIPAA) regulations
- All copyright and intellectual property laws and regulations
- Each social media platforms’ terms of service and community guidelines
- SUNY Geneseo’s social media guidelines
2. Content must be aligned with SUNY Geneseo’s mission and move the college forward.
Keep in mind:
- Content must be about the College and stay on-topic, as outlined in each account’s social strategy.
3. Remain active and commit to a posting frequency.
- Posting frequency must be included in the account’s Social Media Plan.
- Account must be active in order to remain an official account. Accounts that do NOT post for at least six months are considered inactive and may be decommissioned by the account owner, unless otherwise specified in the account’s Social Media Plan
4. Regularly monitor the account and address issues or inquiries.
- Accounts must have a monitoring cadence in their Social Media Plan.
- We recommend monitoring your accounts daily (seven days a week).
- Hashtags & Mentions
Using SUNY Geneseo’s hashtags on your social media channels will allow you to amplify your posts and leverage the publicity power of the college’s accounts. It also helps followers to find your content. Your posts will get more reach and followers.
Using hashtags that are unique to the College is an easy way to start and an industry best practice. Mentioning the College in posts by tagging @SUNYGeneseo is a way to notify the College of your post and allow us to share and amplify content on our main channels. More best practices can be found at the end of this list.
- #Geneseo, #SUNYGeneseo: Use to highlight the College in general.
- #GennyProud: Use for news and events that bolster the college's mission.
- #GennyPride: Use this hashtag for LGBTQ+-related content.
- #GeneseoKnights: Use to promote the Athletics Department.
- #OneKnight: Use to highlight the close-knit SUNY Geneseo community.
- #SUNYGBelieve: Use for cross-country and track and field teams.
- #GeneseoAlumni, #GennyAlum: Use for alumni-related content.
- #GeneseoReunion, #GeneseoReunion20__: Use for reunion weekend.
- #GREATDay20__: Use for GREAT Day.
- #GeneseoBound, #Geneseo20__: Use to recognize new students Admissions.
- #DiverseGeneseo: Use for diversity or cultural events and initiatives.
- #TeamVictor, #VoteForVictor, #MascotMadness: Use during Mascot Madness competition.
- #GeneseoGrad, #Geneseo20__: Use to promote Commencement.
- #DecisionDay20__: Use for National Decision Day (5/1).
- #GeneseoKnightsServe, #GeneseoVolunteers: Student Volunteerism & Community Engagement.
- #GeneseoTownGown: SUNY Geneseo’s connection with the town and village of Geneseo.
- #GeneseoScene: Use this hashtag when sharing Scene magazine articles.
- #GeneseoNews: Use this hashtag when posting Geneseo News Center items.
Departments Represented on Social Media
- #GeneseoGeo, #Sustainability: Department of Geography and Sustainability Studies.
- #GeneseoBiology, #GeneseoBio: Department of Biology.
- #GeneseoChem: Department of Chemistry.
- #GeneseoComm: Department of Communication.
- #GeneseoEnglish: Department of English.
- #GeneseoHistory: Department of History.
- #FraserHallLibrary: Use for Geneseo’s library services while #MilneLibrary is under construction.
- #GeneseoPhysics: Department of Physics & Astronomy.
- #GeneseoAbroad: Study Abroad programs.
Use multiple Geneseo hashtags:
While #SUNYGeneseo should be used on all social media posts, on all channels, you can (and should) use it in conjunction with other Geneseo, campaign, or unit hashtags as appropriate to the content. Keep character limits and channel best practices in mind, but don't be afraid to use two Geneseo hashtags in a given post.
Leverage other hashtags to increase reach and gain new followers:
Use general hashtags in conjunction with Geneseo’s for better reach and more followers. Be selective, and be sure you know the meaning and origin of the hashtags–not all hashtags mean what you might think!
Use CamelCase, capitalizing the first letter of each word, to help make your hashtags more accessible and scannable.
Creating a new hashtag is only advisable when your campaign will have a long life or has wide recognition. When creating a hashtag, be sure to follow these recommendations:
Make sure you “own” your hashtag:
To avoid confusion with other organizations or entities, make sure your # is unique. To do this, incorporate either “Geneseo” or “SUNYGeneseo” into the hashtag. An easy way to test this and find out if the hashtag you are creating is unique is to search it in Twitter and Instagram. If no results come up, then you know you’ve selected a hashtag that’s unique.
Acronyms are vague and tend to exclude potential followers. For example, using #GSA is generic and unhelpful. However, this version, #GeneseoAbroad, gives followers the context they need.
Use dates strategically:
By adding a year or date into a hashtag, you limit reach and will need to recreate a new hashtag for every similar event. However, incorporating dates may be strategically important for initiatives that are specific to dates, like commencement, where you may want to create unique hashtags for each class so they can easily find the content at a later date.
SUNY Geneseo’s Comment Guidelines
Our social channels should be an engaging space where our followers feel they can add to the dialogue. SUNY Geneseo’s Comment Guidelines help set expectations about what we consider to be acceptable practice, as well as how we will moderate comments to protect that environment.
- Adding SUNY Geneseo’s Comment Guidelines to Your Channel
All official SUNY Geneseo social media accounts must include SUNY Geneseo’s Comment Guidelines directly on the channel itself in the “about” section or on the web page linked in the channel’s limited description space.
For Social Media Channels with limited description space, such as Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok it is sufficient to add a link to SUNY Geneseo’s Comment Guidelines on the department’s web page:
- Add "Comment Guidelines" with the link go.geneseo.edu/commentguidelines
For Facebook and other social media channels with "about" sections, copy and paste the following language using the instructions below:
SUNY Geneseo Comment Guidelines: SUNY Geneseo loves hearing from you and we welcome and encourage open, thoughtful discussion. We apply SUNY Geneseo’s Comment Guidelines to help our readers share their thoughts in safe and engaging digital spaces. You can find those guidelines here: go.geneseo.edu/commentguidelines
Add a reference/link to SUNY Geneseo Comment Guidelines to the “About” tab
- Go to your Facebook Page as an admin > About > Page Info > General Info > Edit
- Add “Recommended Text” (above)
The Office of College Communications and Marketing maintains SUNY Geneseo's official social media presence.
Individual departments and groups may create their own social media accounts, but must remember that the content posted and shared represents the college as a whole. Departments and groups with questions about the use of social media should contact email@example.com.
Questions to Consider
Do we need a social media presence?
A successful social media presence features new, useful and interesting content on a regular basis. For a blog, this could mean posting once a week; for Facebook, once a day; for Twitter, once every few hours.
How does social media tie into your other communication efforts?
Think of social media as one tool in your communication toolbox. If you're sending out email, mailing newsletters, putting up posters, etc. to reach out to your audience, about how social media will compliment and coordinate with your other efforts.
What goals are we trying to achieve?
How will creating a social media presence help your department/organization reach its goals? Are you using the page to reach out to new constituents? To communicate with your current audience? To post updated information about your hours, programs, etc.? Defining the mission and purpose of your presence will enable you to craft and adhere to consistent message and purpose - across all your communications channels.
Who will monitor our presence?
Make sure to define a social media manager before starting your social media presence. This person is responsible for routinely posting engaging content and monitoring the account for comments, questions and spam messages.
Account Creation and Management
When you create a new social media account for your department, office, or group, it's important to do so using an office-wide email account. This way, if the person managing the account leaves Geneseo, management can be easily transferred to someone else. When social media managers change, make sure to change the password to your account.
Before creating a new social media account for your department, office, or group, you must identify and designate a social media manager for the account. If the account does not have a manager who is willing and able to regularly post comment and monitor the account, it is likely to become a defunct account that could negatively impact the reputation of your office or the college in general.
Content & Comment Guidelines
Social media is interactive. You should expect and encourage feedback and discussion!
What should I post?
Your social media account's content should directly relate to your department or organization and engage your audience directly. Feel free to ask questions or solicit feedback. No matter what you post, your content should be aimed at starting or continuing dynamic conversations with your audience. Here are a few ideas for content inspiration.
Can I/should I post this?
Remember that activity on your social media accounts represents Geneseo as a whole to a large audience. Make sure that your posts carry out the spirit of the college's mission, values, and goals. Be sensitive to topics that may be incendiary, or that may reflect poorly on the college. Do not post any copyrighted or questionably legal content, direct attacks on individuals or groups, libel, etc.
Content posted on social media should be accessible to everyone. If you post a JPEG with embedded text (for example, a poster for an upcoming event), people who use a screen reader will not have access to the text on the poster. It's best to post images without text, but if you need to include text, be sure to repeat the information in the social media post itself.
How do I handle negative comments?
Negative comments that don't violate our comment guidelines should either be ignored or should receive a polite, constructive response. If you are unsure how to handle a negative comment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.