Social Media Guidelines and Best Practices

The following guidelines and best practices aim to help Winthrop University social media users make best use of social media platforms representing their respective division(s), department(s), school(s), etc. The guidelines apply to material that Winthrop communications offices and related units publish on Winthrop-hosted websites and related social media sites.

Any questions about these guidelines should be directed to Nicole Chisari, social media manager, at


Objective and Audience

Winthrop University encourages the use of social media to help deliver our messages effectively to a variety of audiences. To achieve this, each department or university unit should have a plan for maintaining its chosen social media platform(s) on an infinite, sustainable basis. 

All institutional pages should have a full-time person (preferably not solely student workers or graduate assistants) designated as the administrator for social media. Accounts should be connected with an official Winthrop University email address. Departments and units should consider their messages, audiences, and goals when designing social media sites, as well as a strategy for keeping information on these sites up-to-date.


Guidelines and Best Practices

    Different social media platforms have different audiences. For example, Facebook's audience is typically 25 years and older, while Instagram trends toward 13-18-year-olds. This will help inform the language you plan to use in your messaging and help you target your messaging. 

    Once a post, tweet, etc., is live, it’s immediately visible to a wide audience, even if it is subsequently deleted. Study your word choice – i.e., does a word you’re planning to use have a negative connotation? Carefully review any photos or GIFs you plan to use – is there old branding? Is there a questionable icon or writing on a person’s shirt in the photo? Does the GIF include a controversial figure? Verify, verify, verify information before putting it out there. Remember: you’re reflecting the Winthrop name.

    You don’t necessarily need to post every day, but you do need to maintain a steady presence on your chosen platform. 

    Additionally, make sure your language is consistent. For example, if you are writing the timing of an event as 1 p.m., continue to that format for all times in the future instead of 1:00 p.m., 1 pm, e.g. 

    Make sure you are properly referring to and spelling faculty/staff names and titles, building names, course names, and more. 

    If you have questions about proper names and other topics, consult our style guide.

    Monitor incoming comments, questions, private messages, tweets, etc., and respond accurately and in a timely fashion. Carefully evaluate what needs a response - and what doesn't. If one of the aforementioned isn't asked in good faith, isn't constructive, and comes across as argumentative, you may choose not to respond.

    You are speaking on behalf of Winthrop University, not yourself.

    Do not embark on discriminatory behavior including making negative comments regarding sex, gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, age, or religion. 

    This could cause your account to be deleted and reflects poorly on the university. It also may result in disciplinary action.

    Do not disclose personal information about a student/faculty/staff/alumni/donor/other.

    Consult the policy repository for questions on privacy and copyright.