Representing San Jacinto College on social media goes beyond tone, messaging, and imagery. Here’s how to safeguard your accounts to ensure smooth, secure, and uninterrupted operations.
All San Jac-affiliated social media accounts must be owned by an employee and registered with External Relations. For security purposes, social media accounts should be managed by at least two accountable employees.
While a student may be enlisted to help manage an account, they should not establish or have the highest level (admin) rights to the account.
Accounts on social media platforms requiring a single login should use a San Jac email address. The account must also be accessible to at least two people, an administrator and a backup administrator (the backup administrator cannot be a student). We recommend using multi-factor authentication when possible.
Social media platforms should be monitored at all times and should never go without an active administrator. If the owner of a social media account is set to leave the College, a new administrator should be identified immediately and External Relations needs to be notified.
Ownership should be transferred to that individual and any administrative access the former employee had should be removed. For some platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook), this requires the removal of their profile as an administrator. Other platforms such as Twitter and Instagram require a change of password. Even if your team remains unchanged, it is a good practice to review your social media privacy settings and access and publishing privileges on a quarterly basis.
Incident Response and Breach Preparedness
Always change the passwords to your social media accounts immediately after any suspicious activity such as a security notification or when an administrator leaves their role or the College.
Imposter accounts: These accounts can target our community and prospective students with scams and misinformation. Registering your account with External Relations protects your page from being mistaken as an imposter and potentially taken down.
Scams/phishing: Watch out for fake login pages and questionable direct messages — even just downloading a file or clicking a link can put yourself and the San Jac community in danger. Stay updated on recent social media security threats, and always think twice.
If your account is hacked, report the issue via the help section of the social network where the incident occurred and notify the External Relations office.
State Records Retention
Content posted by an official social media account representing the College is a state record (Government Code, Section 441.180(11)), and is subject to State Records Retention requirements in Government Code Chapter 441, Subchapter L, 441.180-205. This includes certain comments to and from your account.
While you are not legally required to capture social media records and store them outside of their original platform, you cannot delete most posts unless they are spam or more than two years old. We recommend you "hide" comments you wish to remove instead of permanently deleting them. For more information and questions about record retention, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Engaging with Your Audience
Engagement with your audience is important because it allows them to feel heard and supported. This can look like commenting, liking, or sharing relevant content by your audience.
- Do use language that is appropriate, inclusive (we, us, our), and representative of San Jacinto College.
- Do encourage conversation and engage in positive comments.
- Don’t comment on or post anything related to legal matters.
- Don’t share personal opinions or endorsements as if they belong to the College.
- Don’t use “I” statements, jargon, acronyms, institutional language, or abbreviations.
- Don’t remove post comments offering criticism if they are otherwise respectful.
- Don’t participate in arguments or respond to negative comments and direct messages unless a clarification or your acknowledgment is needed on behalf of the College.
- Don’t share confidential information, false information, or information that could potentially damage San Jac’s reputation.
Responding to Inquiries
With so many different departments at the College, you may receive questions from time to time that are not relevant to your area. When replying to inquiries, always respond in a timely manner and do your best to direct the individual to the appropriate group. For example:
Thank you for contacting San Jacinto College! This account is administered by the External Relations office. Your question will be best answered by the Admissions office. You can reach them at 281-998-6150 or email@example.com.
If you receive messages in a language other than English that you do not speak, do not use Google to translate your response. Instead, please refer them to the Contact Center at 281-998-6150.
- Your flyers for social media do not need the full Equal Opportunity statement — it takes up too much valuable space. Adding “An Equal Opportunity Institution” in very small type at the bottom will suffice.
- When using our logo, make sure you are using the current high-resolution version with the service mark.
- Remember not just who your target audience is, but who San Jac’s audience is as a whole. Avoid imagery and messaging that would be better suited for children and younger teens.
- Don’t use QR codes in your digital flyers on social — they require a phone camera to read, and most people are scrolling through their feed on their phones.
- Never post Zoom links on social media (for security reasons — it makes us extremely vulnerable to cybersecurity threats). Add the Zoom link on a corresponding webpage, then direct students there instead.
- Post a variety of content types (videos, photos, flyers, etc.).
- Mind the algorithms. Social media algorithms rank all content and control who sees it, and when. They change about every 3-6 months, but generally keep in mind that posting something does not mean everyone who follows you will see it.
- Tailor your caption length. A shorter caption is best for Facebook and Twitter, while longer captions work well on Instagram. Try to always have at least a full sentence and provide necessary context for your images.
- Aim to post about 2-3 times, but no less than once, per week and use relevant hashtags (no more than 5-10).
- Try to post during ideal, high-traffic times. These are different for everyone, but weekdays between 3-7 p.m. are usually best for San Jac’s main accounts.
- If you’re doing a lot of long-term content planning, consider using a scheduling app like Hootsuite and others.
- When promoting an event or something else that leads back to a webpage, don’t try to fit every detail into the image/caption. You want to give just enough info to entice someone into clicking your link. Stick with the most important things, and send them to the website to learn more.
- Avoid reposting the same thing repeatedly. (Exception: this is acceptable on Twitter, but don’t post the same thing more than once in a 24-hour period.) When accounts repeat posts like this, it annoys users more than it interests them. In fact, usually people ignore posts they’ve already seen. There is a better option for these situations! Here’s an example scenario:
Your department is hosting a Zoom session with guest speakers. Your goal is to get the word out and get students to register for the session.
You decide to start promoting the event two weeks in advance. Ideally, you post the main flyer first — right at the two-week point. Then a few days later, maybe you post photos and short bios for the speakers to introduce them. A few days after that, you could post a short clip from a student that previously attended the same event, in which they talk about what they learned or why other students should tune in.
If you were setting up for an in-person event, you could post behind-the-scenes photos. And so on — there are a lot of possibilities! Then 1-2 days before the event, you might post the main flyer a second time with any additional updates and a reminder to join.
The main point is this: Students want to know what they’re going to get out of attending your event. If you can demonstrate the value to the student, they are more likely to register and attend.