Guidelines When Posting on Behalf of Bellevue College

Online collaboration tools provide low-cost communication methods that foster open exchanges and learning. While social media tools are changing the way we work and how we connect with the public and other higher education institutions, Bellevue College policies and practices for sharing information remain the same. In addition to the individual guidelines discussed above, please follow these official guidelines when you create or post to a social media site on behalf of BC:

Process for Creating a Bellevue College Social Media Presence

To ensure that your social media efforts adhere to the design and policy standards of Bellevue College and that your efforts are not tied specifically to a BC community member’s personal account, all official accounts must be created with the assistance of the office of Institutional Advancement.

Maintain Bellevue College Confidentiality

Do not post confidential or proprietary information about Bellevue College, its students, its alumni, or your fellow employees. Use good ethical judgment and follow the College’s policies and federal requirements, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Maintain Privacy

Do not discuss a situation involving named or pictured BC members on a social media site without their permission. As a guideline, do not post anything that you would not present in any public forum.

Be Thoughtful

Before composing a message that might act as the “voice” or position of the college or a school/department, please discuss the content with your supervisor or the dean/chair of the school/department or his or her delegate. If you ever have any question about whether a message you are crafting is appropriate to post in your role as a BC employee, talk with your supervisor before you post.

Respect College Time and Property

It’s appropriate to post at work if your comments are directly related to accomplishing work goals, such as seeking sources for information or working with others to resolve a problem. You should participate in personal social media conversations on your own time.

Be Responsible

What you write is ultimately your responsibility. Participation in social computing on behalf of BC is not a right but an opportunity, so please treat it seriously and with respect. Keep in mind that if you are posting with a college username, other users do not know you personally. They view what you post as coming from the college. What you say directly reflects on the college. Discuss with your supervisor the circumstances in which you are empowered to respond directly to users and when you may need approval.

Be Accurate

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 community.

Administration & Frequency

Assign an administrator who regularly monitors postings and content. Multiple site administrators are recommended, or at least two so that there’s a back-up. For student organizations, overlap outgoing and incoming administrators to make sure the transition is smooth.

Create a content calendar with pre-planned content for slow periods. Aim for standard times for postings and updates.

Departed Admins

When page editors and administrators, especially students, have left the college and no longer require access to social media accounts, you must update/adjust your page roles immediately.

Stagnant Accounts

Institutional Advancement reserves the right to disable or temporarily unpublish Bellevue College social media accounts that are dormant (no posts, no activity) for more than SIX months, as such stagnancy reflects poorly on the college.

Proper Branding

Abide by the College Identity Standards. For social media profile avatars, Institutional Advancement will provide a template upon request of a new page.

For titles of Facebook pages, we recommend using “Bellevue College” for the first two words, as appropriate, for consistency and best results in searches, for example:

  • Bellevue College XXXX Department
  • Bellevue College Class of XXXX
  • Bellevue College Chess Club
  • Bellevue College Men’s Basketball

Use of the official college logo on Facebook is not recommended, since there is only one slot for a homepage photo, and it would cause confusion for multiple groups to use the same logo.

Last Updated February 10, 2016