Social media guidelines

We are dedicated to fostering creativity and encouraging bold ideas while acting with integrity and creating a welcoming, inclusive environment for all. These values extend to our digital and social environments, which is becoming a primary point of contact with our many audiences and constituencies.

As a manager or content creator for your unit- or department-level social media account, you’ll find that these social media guidelines will help you develop a social media strategy that is consistent with Missouri S&T’s identity. These guidelines also include best practices to help you build, create, maintain and monitor your social media presence, whether you are a seasoned social media manager or just beginning to explore social media options for your department or student organization.

Terms of use for officially-recognized S&T social platforms

Telling the Missouri S&T story

Between what we say and how we say it, we create a recognizable style that is distinctively S&T. When we interact with our audiences, they need to know there is a real person posting and engaging with them.
Our distinct brand personality shines through when we communicate our personality, which is an expression of our values and a vehicle through which our story will be told. As we communicate with a variety of audiences and convey a variety of messages, it is important that we do so through one consistent brand voice that is warm, kind, informative and upbeat. Learn more about developing our voice here: https://brand.mst.edu/guidelines/voice/#tone.

It’s more than our name or logo. It’s the way we look, act and speak. It’s what we’re all about. When you execute our brand, there’s a reason behind every visual or verbal decision. The Missouri S&T brand guidelines (see https://brand.mst.edu/guidelines/) will help you make those decisions. It reflects the thought process that went into creating the brand and provides guidelines for making it work.

Before you build new content, it's important to know how messaging and choice of graphics fits with our visual identity. Learn more about our official Missouri S&T colors, lines and patterns, photography, logos and fonts: https://brand.mst.edu/#resources.

When you are posting to a university account, you represent Missouri S&T. Following are best practices to ensure the best engagement with your audience.

Think of yourself as a referee, and your audience are the players. You are an observant spectator until a violation occurs. Do not insert yourself into post conversations or remove posts or comments unless the content is disrespectful, profane, egregious, or violates any terms of agreement set forth by the social platform you are using. Do not remove posts or comments that are respectful but at odds with your personal opinions or critical of your posting.

Comments to remove would include obscene or threatening language or discrimination (hate speech) based on race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, age, or disability. It is your responsibility as the social manager to report discriminatory language on any university-affiliated site to Equity and Title IX at https://equity.mst.edu/.

Engage and inform your audience

Social media is often the first experience a user will have with our university; complete the following steps to ensure your audience is engaged and informed. 

. Ensure the content you are posting is relevant to your user. While some audiences and their interests overlap due to the close-knit community of S&T, no two audiences are exactly alike. The audience for a student organization is not the same as the audience for the Miner Alumni Association, for example. Understanding your audience will help you develop appropriate content.

Before you post, ask yourself what you want your audience to do with the information you posted. Do you want them to sign up for an event? Go to your main website to see course offerings? Inform them of new faculty research? Think through your goals before posting.

Determine which social media outlet you should use, depending on the user persona (demographics), to increase audience engagement. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have very different audiences. If you maintain more than one social media site, make sure to tailor your message in each medium.

 

Social media pages can have multiple administrators; make sure your posts have the same tone. KMNR and the College of Engineering pages are not going to have the same tone because the audiences are different. 

Users want your page to add value to their online experience and to be a source of information. Avoid posting outdated content. A good rule of thumb is to post every other day unless there is time-sensitive news that needs to be included. Users do not want to be inundated with information, but at the same time, too little information makes the page look dated or abandoned. 

Optimize content by adding strong visuals. Posts with visuals receive significantly higher engagement than text-only posts.

Hashtags are for Twitter and Instagram; they have no functional purpose on Facebook unless you want to specifically redirect to your Twitter and Instagram accounts. Social media admins who use hashtags incorrectly on Facebook can seem out of touch with social media trends.

Run all your posts through spellcheck and, if possible, have another set of eyes review your content prior to posting.

Make sure your links work prior to posting and that language used in the post and in comments does not violate terms of use. Identify the administrator or administrators of the accounts and any others involved in the monitoring or posting of social media content to ensure timely posting of relevant content, consistency of voice and tone, and timely responses to messages received from your audience.

Social media naming conventions

If your audience cannot find you, you cannot meet the goals of your social media pages. Ensure your social media pages are in-brand with Missouri S&T.

As social media administrators and members of the Missouri S&T community, it is our job to display the name of our university correctly: Missouri S&T or S&T on second reference. When social media pages do not use the correct brand terminology, it weakens the brand.

A page titled “Science and Technology Research” is not easily identifiable as being part of the greater S&T brand. Users will also have a harder time finding and following your page if you do not follow established naming conventions. All university pages must begin with Missouri S&T followed by department, program, student group, etc.

In-brand examples for Facebook:

  • Missouri S&T Computer Science
  • Missouri S&T Ballet and Dance Club
  • Missouri S&T Street Team

In-brand examples for Twitter (please note Twitter does not allow ampersands):

  • SandTSSC (Student Success Center)
  • SandTCASB (College of Arts, Science and Business)
  • SandTCEC (College of Engineering and Computing)

In-brand examples for Instagram (please note Instagram does not allow ampersands):

Examples of impermissible page names across all platforms include but are not limited to the following:

  • MST
  • MUST
  • MS&T
  • MO S&T

Social media governance

To further ensure our university-related social media accounts are visible and easy to find, account owners should add their social media accounts to the social media directory at https://news.mst.edu/social/social-media-directory/.

Web and interactive reserves the right to disable or unpublish inactive or dormant Missouri S&T social accounts. An inactive or dormant account is one on which the account holder has not posted any information for six months or more. Social media is a way to humanize our university, and dormant accounts reflect a lack of consideration for the audience and indicate a page is stagnant, and is therefore no longer an audience resource.

 


All social media accounts affiliated with a Missouri S&T academic or administrative unit are required to grant administrative access to social media staff in marketing and communications.
While units are responsible for posting and monitoring content on their social media accounts, this administrative oversight by marketing and communications is intended to allow intervention in the event of inappropriate postings on unit sites.
All managers of social media accounts affiliated with S&T academic or administrative units must sign and abide by the terms of this social media training directed by marketing and communications, specifically web and interactive. It is the responsibility of the unit’s supervisor or director to ensure compliance.
To add a marketing and communications staff member to a unit-level social media account, contact Web and Interactive at 573-341-7060 or at webmaster@mst.edu.

When page owners, including faculty, staff and students, leave the university, they no longer need or require access to social media platforms associated with Missouri S&T and will be removed. It is your responsibility to immediately remove anyone who had previous access to the page upon their departure from the institution. Please alert web and interactive at web@mst.edu when administrative access change

All social media accounts affiliated with a Missouri S&T academic or administrative unit are required to grant administrative access to social media staff in marketing and communications. 
While units are responsible for posting and monitoring content on their social media accounts, this administrative oversight by marketing and communications is intended to allow intervention in the event of inappropriate postings on unit sites.
All managers of social media accounts affiliated with S&T academic or administrative units must sign and abide by the terms of this social media training directed by marketing and communications, specifically web and interactive. It is the responsibility of the unit’s supervisor or director to ensure compliance. 

To add a marketing and communications staff member to a unit-level social media account, contact Web and Interactive at 573-341-7060 or at webmaster@mst.edu.

Social media training

Learn how to effectively manage your social media accounts and represent Missouri S&T.  

During training you will learn how to accomplish the following:

  • Reach your social media audience
  • Implement best practices to effectively represent our university
  • Increase audience engagement to help you reach your goals

You will also be briefed on new social media policies, procedures and guidelines. At the conclusion of training, you will receive a certificate of participation.

Register for social media training

Social media training

Questions?

Lindsey Dunstedter

Social Media Strategist
Marketing and Communications