Social Media Guide

COCC's Social Media Guide is designed to help faculty, staff and students use social media effectively for College-related initiatives. All information shared electronically must follow the same high standards as other forms of published College information. COCC's social media strategy supports the College's mission, vision, goals and overall communication objectives.

COCC's Current Social Media Channels: COCC primarily utilizes two social media channels, Facebook and Instagram, to connect with the communities we serve, including current and prospective students. These channels best align with our brand, communication strategies and audiences. The College Relations office continually monitors social media trends to determine the most appropriate channels for the College based on audience, reach and available resources.

Approval: All social media channel accounts that are affiliated with the College, MUST be approved by the College Relations office prior to establishment. In addition, a member of the College Relations office must be set up as an administrator for any COCC-related social media account.

This ensures the channel can be maintained if those who start the account leave the College.

Best Practices: All COCC-related social media account managers and contributors must follow COCC's Best Practices for Effective Social Media Communication.

Things to consider before you get started:

Social media is not always the answer. Ask yourself the following:

  • What are my goals? How will I measure success?
  • Who is my audience? Is my audience using this channel?
  • What will my content be? Who will generate it? Why would my audience care about the content?
  • Who will maintain the account? Who will respond to comments during non-business hours?
  • Is this account sustainable?
  • What is our transition plan if the main driver behind the channel leaves?

Do your research.

  • What are other groups/brands like mine doing?
  • How much success are they having (followers/likes/interactions)?
  • How often are they posting?
  • Be a regular user of the channel before setting up a COCC-related account.

Yes, I want to use social media for this purpose. Now what?

  • Contact College Relations for approval and guidance on set-up. A member of the College Relations office MUST know your login information and be setup as an account administrator.
  • Develop a social media calendar.
  • Determine who will be posting to the account.
  • Determine what privacy setting is appropriate.
  • Share Posting Guidelines on the channel, see below.

COCC Posting Guidelines Example (for visitors, fans or followers)

"This Facebook page is a resource of Central Oregon Community College. However, any and all content posted by "fans" is the property and responsibility of the fans, not COCC, and may not reflect the view of the College.

We encourage you to share your opinions and comments freely. The freedom to post, though, comes with the responsibility to do so in a productive and civil manner. Conversations will be moderated and any posts that are considered to be offensive, inappropriate, derogatory, discriminating or threatening in nature, will be deleted at the sole discretion of COCC. Personal attacks will not be permitted.

Commercial offers or spam are not permitted and will be removed from the site.

If you are featured in a photo posted on this page and do not wish to be please contact the administrator to have the photo removed."

Best Practices for Effective Social Media Communication

Faculty, staff and students posting on a COCC-associated media channel must adhere to the following:

Be professional and remember that you are posting on behalf of COCC.
As an employee or student, remember that you represent COCC. You are the public face of the college when you are posting content on a COCC channel. Be sure to always consider the intended audience when posting or commenting. Most often, COCC's social media channels are intended for students, alumni, community members, college supporters, local businesses and others. It is NOT strictly a page for students.

Proofread your content prior to posting and avoid spelling and grammatical errors.

Think before you post.
Once something is posted digitally, it lives forever. Don't make the mistake of posting something that you will regret later or that could negatively impact the College. Also, search engines frequently catalog posts and archive social media content which means that posting and then deleting a post does not guarantee that others won't be able to access the post later.

Be respectful of others.
Whether you are an administrator or a fan/follower, always treat others fairly. Be sensitive to different perspectives and viewpoints and never react in a defensive or hostile manner.

Be accurate, honest and transparent.
Make sure you are providing accurate information. Take the time to verify information before it's posted. If you make an error or need to post a correction or retraction, do so publicly so that others are aware of it. Do not say anything that is dishonest, untrue or misleading.

Respect confidentiality and privacy laws.
Use good judgment about content and respect privacy laws. Do not post confidential or proprietary information about the College, its students, its alumni or staff and faculty. Follow college policies and federal requirements such as FERPA. If in doubt, contact the College Relations office for guidance.

Don't violate copyright laws.
Follow the laws governing copyright and fair use dealing with copyrighted materials owned by others, including COCC's own copyrighted material and brand. It is good practice to give credit to the owner/author/creator for content that is not your own and provide a direct link or URL to that content if possible.

Don't be afraid to ask questions.
If you need help, are uncertain of how to respond to a question or complaint, or need advice on how to handle a difficult situation, contact the College Relations office.

COCC's College Relations is responsible for emergency/incident communication.

Please do not post emergency or incident information to any social media channel. Contact the College Relations office with questions. Weather related announcements that have already been made through COCC channels may then be shared on other COCC-associated channels.

General recommendations for content:

  • Use visuals whenever possible. However, do not post images that are blurry, dark and/or pixelated.
  • Avoid generating the majority of content from shared posts. Users value original content.
  • Respond in a timely manner (less than 24 hours) to questions.

What if someone puts up something negative or inappropriate?

Social media allows us to take part in the conversation - and sometimes shape it - but never control it. Never take down a comment just because you don't like what is being said. However, use the Posting Guidelines you developed for your channel as a guideline for deleting inappropriate or offensive content. See COCC Social Media Guide for an example.

Contact Information

COCC College Relations department: 541.383.7596

Ron Paradis, rparadis@cocc.edu, 541.383.7599
Scott Donnell, sdonnell@cocc.edu, 541.383.7709
Aimee Metcalf, ametcalf@cocc.edu, 541.383.7214