We encourage Queen's departments and faculties to use social media as a way to connect with the Queen's community. Please be aware of our guidelines when participating in or managing the social media presence for your department or faculty.
Engage with others. Social media is not a place for you to talk without listening. If you join a social network, such as a Facebook Page, or comment on someone’s blog, make sure you are contributing positively and productively to the conversation. Social media is not a one-way conversation so don’t post information about topics on Queen’s events or a book you’ve authored unless you are sure it will be of interest to readers. Self-promoting behaviour is viewed negatively and can lead to being banned from sites or groups.
Be relevant and accurate. 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. Ensure your links work and are kept up to date. Be sure your content and communications are relevant to those with whom you are engaging.
Don’t be argumentative. As a Queen’s employee, you understand the university’s commitment to respect for the dignity of others and to the civil and thoughtful discussion of ideas. Some online communities can be volatile, tempting users to behave in ways they otherwise wouldn’t. Your reputation and Queen’s are best served when you express yourself professionally.
- Be respectful. Don't post material that is profane, obscene, threatening, abusive, harassing, hateful, or defamatory to anyone. There’s no such thing as a “private” social media site. Search engines can turn up posts years after the publication date. Comments can be forwarded or copied. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post. If you feel angry or passionate about a subject, it’s wise to delay posting until you are calm and clear-headed.
Exercise good judgment. Do not post confidential or proprietary information about Queen’s, its students, its alumni or colleagues. Use good ethical judgment and follow university policies, and provincial and federal requirements, such as FIPPA. Consult Queen’s FIPPA website as well as the Queen's University Computer User Code of Ethics.
- Think it through. If you discuss a situation involving individuals on a social media site, be sure that those individuals cannot be identified. As a guideline, don’t post anything that you would not present publicly.
- Choose the right person for the job. To be successful at social media takes not only time and planning, but it also requires the right personality. Select individuals who enjoy interacting with others online and providing helpful information. They should have an understanding of what your audience enjoys reading/seeing from your department. This person should also have an understanding of the best practices and culture for each of the social platforms you participate in.
Assign an administrator. Make sure you have the resources to ensure that someone from your department has the time to regularly monitor postings and content, and can respond to questions in a timely fashion. If you don't have the resources to sustain this type of commitment, social meida may not be an appropriate communications tool for you.
- Post regularly. Be sure to post content on a regular basis. The frequency of posting will depend on the platform you are using; for a blog, the recommended frequency is at least once a week, while on Twitter, several daily updates are ideal.
- Know your audience. Balance talking at your audience with listening and responding. Asking questions and taking polls are good methods to get your audience involved and it will help you understand their viewpoint.
- Be transparent about your role at Queen's. When participating in or maintaining a social media site on behalf of Queen’s, clearly state your role.