Social Media Best Practices


Social media is an essential component of communication in the modern world. Apps and websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and LinkedIn have become the preferred tools for individuals to share knowledge, express creativity and connect online with others who share similar interests. Berry College participates in social media in a variety of ways and on a variety of platforms. When posting to or communicating within Berry channels, you are expected to act responsibly, understanding that in many cases you are perceived as a representative of the college.

Though social media has been a standard for online communication for several years, many employees and groups at Berry may be new to using these platforms for connecting with particular audiences. We’ve assembled this list of “best practices” to help you use social media effectively, protect your personal and professional reputation and portray Berry consistently and professionally.

When posting, please remember that you could be held liable for anything you post on your own site and on the sites of others. Individual bloggers have been held liable for commentary deemed to be proprietary, copyrighted, defamatory, libelous or obscene (as defined by the courts.) Be sure that what you post today will not come back to haunt you.

You are welcomed and encouraged to link from your campus social media site to the Berry College website.

Notes about the Berry Identity and Style:
  • Do not use the Berry College logo, athletic logo, seal or any other Berry College marks or images on your personal online sites. If you have been authorized to create an official Berry College social media profile or a video for posting in locations such as YouTube, please consult the Berry College Public Relations website at for visual identity guidelines and approved logos. Please contact the Department of Public Relations and Marketing for related images.
  • Do not use Berry College’s name to promote or endorse any product, cause or political party or candidate.
Thinking about starting up a departmental social media account/profile?
  • First, you should determine your purpose for using social media.
  • Make sure that your group or department doesn’t already have an existing (perhaps inactive) page.
  • Consider if you really need a social media page or if your content may be better shared through an existing page that another group or your department already manages.
  • If you have authorization from your area’s administrator to set up an official Berry College social media account or page, you must make the commitment to manage it properly (see the following sections for additional information on profile management.)
  • Refer to our social media directory to see existing Berry College pages and determine whether or not your department already has representation on social media.
General social media recommendations:
  • Create a mission and strategy for your social media platforms. How often will you post? What are your goals for content? What sorts of content do you want to avoid? What is the purpose of your platform? Create a defined strategy and alter it as needed in order to achieve your social media goals.
  • Make sure that your profile / social media account has at least a primary and a secondary administrator. No Berry-related social media outlet should have just one person accessing it. This will ensure that profiles remain active and that there is a backup in case someone is unable to post, moderate or manage a page. As well, always designate at least one faculty or staff member in your group as an administrator over your profile.
  • Create a set of guidelines for what you will and will not allow to be posted on your social media platform. Make sure that your guidelines comply with your chosen outlet’s terms of use. Post your guidelines visibly on your page or provide a link for your followers to read. Familiarize yourself with the terms of use for each social media platform that you use. For an example on guidelines, check out Berry College Facebook page’s guidelines.
  • Monitor your social media accounts daily. Make sure that someone has eyes on your profiles periodically throughout the day during the week and intermittently during the weekend to ensure that you are able to field questions, take care of violations to your guidelines and engage with your followers. 
  • Consider using a social media management app like “HootSuite” or “SproutSocial”. These can help you manage and monitor your content in one convenient place. 
  • Check in on any hashtags you regularly use so that you can see the sorts of content other users are generating with the hashtag. Hashtags are not “owned” and can be used by anyone. Use your hashtags with care and make sure that a hashtag you’re using isn’t being used for questionable content. To see a list of common Berry-related hashtags, check out our hashtag information page.
  • If you are hosting an event, consider creating a hashtag for that event. This will allow you to see the audience response via social media and allow you to have access to a repository of reactionary images.
  • Keep an eye out for student distress. Part of the mission of Berry College faculty and staff is to help students as they grow through their college experience. Sometimes, students reach out for help via social media when they are struggling with mental health issues or general academic stress. If you feel a student is in dire need of immediate assistance, direct them to the appropriate person for help.
  • IMPORTANT: Always use proper grammar, punctuation and appropriate language. Double and triple check ALL posts to ensure that it is free of errors. Fastidious proofreading can save a lot of headache later. We are a college and as such are held to a much higher standard when it comes to grammar and language.
  • Posting content with an image will almost always get more attention than posting with text only. The current generation of college students is extremely visual and eye-catching, striking images will always garner more engagement than copy-only posts. Also, social media news feeds put more weight on posts that include visual content.
  • Be genuine and transparent. Your audience (particularly the younger generation) can tell when you’re trying too hard or when your posts feel “fake” or contrived. Find your unique voice and use it! Always set a good example for others to see and follow when it comes to posting, commenting and replying.
  • Expect criticism, opposition and “trolls”. People who purposefully post negatively oriented comments with the purpose of stirring up an emotional response in a thread are called “trolls.” Don’t be too quick to censor or delete comments, however. Do not be defensive. Only delete if posts violate the terms of use of the social media outlet that you are using, or it violates your own guidelines for proper posting (i.e. Hateful or hate speech remarks, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive profanity, off-topic or irrelevant comments, etc.)
  • Not all social media outlets are the same. You won’t always necessarily post the same content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, for instance. Be familiar with what is and is not appropriate for your audience on various platforms. Reply, share and “favorite” appropriately. Listen to your students and student workers. Where do they hang out on social media? Reflect on whether it is a good idea to be present there. Remember, it is better to be very active on one outlet, than inactive on several.
  • IMPORTANT: Always ask for permission before using another person’s photo or content on your social media page. Make sure that the person from whom you’re asking permission actually has rights to the photo or content and the right to approve use. Educate yourself about copyright and intellectual property limitations as it relates to social media. A great resource is Copyright.gov
  • Post consistently! Either commit to posting regularly or consider another avenue for connecting with your target audience. Don’t let profiles become inactive. Having an inactive profile is most often worse for your image than not having a social media presence at all.
Popular social media platforms:
  • Facebook: Becoming more and more popular with the aging demographic and the younger generation alike, Facebook is a great place to share images, content, and links with your followers.
  • Twitter: Using 140 characters at a time, you can share short snippets of information, links and images with your followers. This is a great way to keep your followers updated on what your group is doing on any given day/week. For links, plan to use a link-shortener such as bit.ly or tinyurl.
  • Instagram: Most popular among the younger crowd, Instagram is an image-sharing app in which users can take photos, edit them and post them to their followers with short captions. Instagram is a great way to share beautiful photos, group shots, and “selfies” with students across campus and prospective students.
  • YouTube: An incredibly large video sharing website that is popular with people of all ages.