Social Media Policy

Social Media :: Websites and applications used to facilitate communication and content-sharing to create virtual communities and networks.

Official College Accounts :: Social media accounts managed and maintained by the Office of Marketing and Communication.

College Approved Accounts :: Social media accounts that represent Illinois College programs, departments, clubs, organizations, and athletic teams which have been approved by the Office of Marketing and Communication.

Social media as a platform is a powerful tool for communicating, marketing, and creating an interactive dialogue. Given their reach and purpose, social media accounts that represent IC programs also represent the College and the IC community. For this purpose, the Office of Marketing and Communication must be engaged in the creation of any social media account connected to the College and will help supervise its effectiveness, content, and brand identity based on media content guidelines, best practices, and the official Illinois College social media policies.

The Office of Marketing and Communication maintains the official College accounts and currently operates the following platforms:
Illinois College Social Media

The Office of Marketing and Communication staff will monitor social media related to the organization daily. Any statements or claims posted as content on College Approved Accounts believed to be false or misleading, offensive, or do not align with the College’s social media policy will be reviewed and either corrected or deleted. Additionally, violation of this policy could result in reporting a department’s or office’s social media account for removal.

Illinois College programs, departments, clubs, organizations, and athletic teams must work with the Office of Marketing and Communication BEFORE launching new social media accounts, including YouTube. Login information and access to the account must be shared with the Office of Marketing and Communication. Noncompliance may result in probationary status for the unapproved social media account. If necessary, further action will be taken to report and remove the account.

Is Social Media the Best Approach?

As a College, it is our collective responsibility to effectively tell the IC story through our strategic brand, including through the use of social media. Before requesting to establish a new social media presence, consider the possibility of providing your content to be shared on existing social media platforms, such as the official college accounts, where the content will reach a wide and established audience.

Consider these questions:

What are your goals?

Goals such as increasing brand awareness, building community, and encouraging engagement work well with social when part of a carefully constructed social media plan. 

Do you have a social media strategy?

A clearly defined plan that outlines how you will meet your goals, which platforms you are considering, who is responsible for creating content, what that content is likely to be, and how often you plan to post is a strong starting point for a discussion with the Marketing team. 

Is social media the best medium?

Too often, it’s thought that a social media presence is needed in the same way as a web page. For example, simply wanting to take a traditional web page and translate it to Facebook is not using the medium correctly. Facebook is a place for interaction and dialogue — not simply presenting information.

Is the “conversation” sustainable over time?

Is it of enough interest to engage more than a few viewers? Will the social media account be relevant six or 12 months from now?

Is there time, energy, and a team available to keep the content current and fresh? 

Social media needs constant attention and new content should be shared regularly to keep the audience engaged, and managing an account often requires more than one person. Consider if there is a team with the time and energy needed to keep the social media account active.

What “added value” is being created? 

Would this information interest the audiences following official College social media accounts or would updates to the web page be more effective?

If still interested in creating a social media account, please contact the Office of Marketing and Communication at to set up a time to meet.

Social Media Policy & Guidelines

Once a clearly organized strategy for a social media account has been defined, it is necessary to understand how to maintain the content.

Be active and timely.

The success of a social media account relies on constant monitoring and updating to ensure the target audience stays engaged. Social media audiences expect frequent updates and real-time responses to messages, events, etc. Consistency is key and consistent interaction is a must in order to develop a positive relationship between platform and audience. 

Be accurate.

PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD! Make sure all details and facts are accurate and error-free before posting. It is easier and best practice to ensure posts are accurate from the start, rather than having to delete or correct them later. Give credit where credit is due by linking to stories or sharing information from appropriate sources/pages.

Think before posting.

Remember that anything that goes online potentially lives there forever. Be thoughtful and confident in the posts that are shared. Ensure that content is relevant and credible, whether it is original material or content shared from another source. Only post when comfortable with the content being seen by a wide audience and in other media (such as quoted in a newspaper article). Never post anything that would not be appropriate for a general audience nor information that is defamatory, libelous, or unsubstantiated.

Stay on brand.

Always check with the Office of Marketing and Communication to confirm posts align with the institution's brand and style guide. The guidelines not only apply to printed and media pieces, but also to visuals and social media.

Know the rules for using IC logos.

The Office of Marketing and Communication oversees and approves all uses of College logos. Unless designed by the Office of Marketing and Communication, the Illinois College logos should NOT be used on any internal campus communications. The use of logos on any external communications must be approved by the Office of Marketing and Communication.

Social Responsibility & Best Practices

While the staff in the Office of Marketing and Communication closely monitors the official College accounts and must be included as administrators for all approved social media accounts, the following best practices are recommended. If these best practices cannot be met, the account(s) will be recommended for removal.

Post regularly, but not too often.

Accounts should post 1-3 times a week in order to keep followers interested without overwhelming them. Never share multiple posts in a row. Rarely should multiple posts be made on the same day. If necessary, spread them out over the course of the day.

Be open to critics.

Transparency equals credibility on social media, and the nature of the platform opens users up to criticism. Critical posts should usually be left up and carefully addressed. Often these posts are appropriately addressed by other users. Only posts that are threatening, libelous, or qualify as spam should be removed. Contact the  Office of Marketing and Communication for advice on responding to or removing a questionable post.

Be vigilant.

Like any password-protected space, be vigilant in protecting the account and the password. Avoid phishing schemes and alert IT and your divisional vice president if the site is compromised.

Know the rules.

The NCAA has specific rules about contacting recruited athletes via social media. Please refer to NCAA rules and be certain all social media interaction is in compliance. In addition, all FERPA and other field-specific privacy rules apply in this and every medium.

Personal Use of Social Media

Illinois College does not encourage or discourage personal use of social media by the faculty, staff, and students. The College is mindful that faculty and staff may and will have occasion to use social media for good purposes as it relates to their connection to the College. Good, responsible judgment must be used at all times.

Faculty, staff, and students should be mindful that things said, done, or posted on social media are often publicly available, searchable, and may be forever accessible. Social media users must be aware that laws protect persons from being photographed, recorded, or videotaped without consent in some situations. Without consent, the one taking such action may have liability to non-consenting persons.

While the College does not monitor personal social media sites, it may require staff, faculty, or students to remove posts that violate this policy or applicable law.

The following guidelines offer recommendations to the Illinois College community on how to balance their personal uses of social media while protecting themselves.

  • The line between professional and personal business is sometimes blurred: Be thoughtful about the content posted and the potential audience.
  • Personal affiliations: Being affiliated with the College may make your personal profile(s) of interest to others. Be honest about your identity. In personal posts, you may identify yourself as a College faculty or staff member; however, please be clear that you are sharing your views as an individual, not as a representative of the College.
  • Protect yourself and others: Honor confidentiality and proprietary information about Illinois College and its faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. Respect the intellectual property and copyrights of others when posting.
  • Endorsements: Do not use the Illinois College logo or your personal connection to the College to endorse something on behalf of Illinois College.

Student Use of Social Media

Students managing their personal or a club, organization, or department’s social media accounts should refer to the Illinois College Code of Student Conduct and the Illinois College Code of Student Organization Conduct listed in the Student Handbook (Blue Book) as well as this social media policy for best practices.

For more information about personal and/or professional use of social media, please contact the Office of Marketing and Communication.