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BEST PRACTICES

We care about your safety, cyber-security and reputation. Here are some guidelines to help you create and contribute to social media channels, blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds and other online media safely and in a digitally responsible way.

 

Remember to obey the law, be safe, respect others and follow the channel rules. 

Best practices


Digital platforms and tools change quickly. These best practices are meant to:

  • Guide rather than strictly instruct; authenticity is key in social digital spaces

  • Be reviewed from a Concordia, safety and protection, and privacy standpoint

  • Be reviewed regularly and updated as required


Social media works best when there are:

  • Real people
  • Genuine intentions
  • Quality content behind every profile, tweet and share/post

Motivations for contributing to social media rely on four pillars:

  • Anticipated Reciprocity. A person is motivated to contribute valuable information to the group in the expectation that one will receive useful help and information in return.
  • Increased Recognition. Recognition is important to online contributors. Individuals generally want recognition for their contributions.
  • Sense of efficacy. Individuals may contribute valuable information because the act results in a sense that they have had some effect on this environment.
  • Communion. People are social beings and this motivates many people to receive direct responses to their contributions.

Practical tips


Listen.

The most important first step you can take in social media is to listen before you “speak.” Social media offers a unique window into the lives of colleagues, customers, and influential people, but only if you don't talk over the opportunity. Adhering to a “listen-first” mantra will help you can gain valuable insights that inform how – or even if – you want to engage.

Be authentic.

Social networks are human networks. Your online behaviour should reflect who you are in person.

Be consistent.

When cultivating your social media presence, be consistent about the information contained in your profile and the content you share. If possible, establish brand guidelines for individual and group participation within Concordia so that you can build trust with and recognition from others regardless of the platform. 

Be gracious.

Applauding the good work of others and thanking others for their support are the cornerstones of any good community on or offline. Whether it is citing a source with a link in a blog post or retweeting be sure to credit and thank the original creator.

Disclose.

Letting your online audiences know that you work for Concordia is essential if you are tweeting, blogging or posting favorably about Concordia online. A great way to do this is filling out your Twitter bio with a brief line about your Concordia affiliation, as well as including Concordia's name as an employer on your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Additionally, if you are supporting the efforts of a client, make sure to disclose your interest in the matter.

Don't share confidential information about your department, clients, colleagues, partners, or competitors.

Don't criticize your department, clients, colleagues, partners, or competitors.

Don't spread rumors or false information about your department, clients, colleagues, partners, or competitors.

Don't reveal personal information about any of your colleagues. Examples include tweeting side conversations or posting personal photos without permission.

Don't misrepresent yourself or Concordia. Every action online is, at some level, traceable, so make sure the content that you are creating and impressions you are leaving, no matter how big or how small, are accurate and honest.

Automated social-posting systems diminish the value of your presence by corroding real engagement. Ultimately, what motivates people online is similar to what motivates them offline.

Guiding principles


Maintain respectful digital spaces

Our digital channels should be positive, informative, and inspiring. Never post or share anything with profane, lewd, offensive, or discriminatory language or images. Avoid topics that can be considered sensitive, divisive, objectionable or inflammatory.

We also expect those who engage with our digital content do so in a respectful manner. Should this not be the case, futher action may be required. If you have questions or need assitance dealing with a social media user, please contact the social media team for assitance: socialmedia@concordia.ca

If this is not the case, you may need to take further action to delete comments or block users. 

Remain non-partisan. Don't editorialize

Concordia speaks in an informed manner on issues and does not support or oppose politicians or political parties.

Proactively respond to comments and posts

Concordia has policies in place on how to handle both positive and negative posts from users. In some cases but not all, a response will be required. For some, no further action is required. When responding, do so in a timely manner. Need help to decide if you should respond or not? Not sure how to respond? Contact the social media team

Maintain privacy and confidentiality

Always respect privacy and confidentiality. Follow Concordia's privacy policy and be aware that you are also subject to the privacy policies of the platforms you use (e.g. Facebook). Only share publicly available information about Concordia and never share confidential or proprietary information.

Respect the intellectual property of others

Only post or use content you have permission to. If sharing someone else’s content, always make sure  the original source is credited.

Be accurate and honest

Don’t post or share something you know or suspect to be wrong, misleading or fake. If you do make a mistake, correct it promptly and reference the earlier comment, even if it’s been deleted. Never falsify information to increase the standing or reputation of Concordia, such as writing fake reviews.

Obtain permission when taking and using photos and videos

For social media purposes only and only for subjects over the age of majority, it is acceptable to ask for verbal consent before taking a photo or video. For large events,  it is acceptable to post clearly visible signage alerting people that by entering, they consent to having  their photo taken and shared. Be clear about how you’ll be using the photo. Don’t use the photo/video for other reasons, such as marketing materials, without getting a signed waiver.

For photos of children and teenagers, a photo waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian is ALWAYS  equired before sharing photos online.

Exercise good judgment with personal accounts

It’s important to remember anything you post from your personal social media accounts can still be traced back to your relationship with Concordia, even if you don’t disclose the relationship. Always exercise good judgment when posting and be aware that inappropriate conduct, even when on personal time and on personal accounts, can negatively affect the university and yourself.

Let others know who you are

When sharing or commenting about Concordia from a personal account, website, blog, etc., build trust by disclosing that you are a part of Concordia. Make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the university. 

Be courteous

Treat others with respect and help us keep our online spaces inclusive and safe. Abuse, profanity, threats, harassment, and defamatory or sexualized language will not be tolerated.

Be honest and lawful

Respect intellectual property rights and only post or share content such as photos, videos, and text that you have the right to use. Please don’t post false, misleading or deceptive information. Don’t post about or encourage illegal activities.

Protect privacy

Do not share personal information about yourself or others.

Stay on topic

Our channels provide users with the opportunity to share comments and feedback about Concordia. Spam, promotional, commercial or other messages deemed to be off-topic should be removed.

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