Social Media Guidelines

College of Marin Social Media Guidelines

College of Marin encourages free expression and embraces the role social media can play in connecting the institution internally, as well as with a broad range of constituencies and communities. This document was developed to provide platform-neutral guidelines for those participating in social media on behalf of, or as a representative of, College of Marin. These guidelines apply to all faculty, staff, and students; and all social media sites associated with College departments, programs, offices, and groups. Additionally, these guidelines are intended to help ensure social media users connect with audiences within the framework of existing College policies and procedures.

Because technology driving web and social media communication is constantly changing and evolving, these guidelines may be adjusted and updated as necessary.

Faculty, staff, and students seeking to create a social media presence on behalf of a department, program, office, group, function, or initiative must adhere to the guidelines in this document. Following these procedures will help identify your accounts as an official part of College of Marin amidst the vast social media clutter.

College of Marin is active on a variety of social media platforms. The official institutional accounts are listed below.

Certain departments may need to adhere to additional policies specific to their operations, curriculum, and program. It is the responsibility of the department to know and follow any additional social media policies required by entities outside of College of Marin.

Naming Conventions

When you create a social media account, the naming convention starts with “College of Marin” and is followed by the department, program, group, etc. name. Naming in this way groups all College of Marin accounts in search results.

Coordinate District-wide

To avoid multiple accounts, please make sure your colleagues are aware of your intentions. Approval to proceed should be sought from the appropriate dean or supervisor. Accounts are district-wide and a department should only have one account. A representative from the Marketing and Communications Office and the senior creative designer must be added as administrators of all College of Marin social media accounts.

Sharing of Credentials

In addition to adding a representative from the Marketing and Communications Office and the senior creative designer to all College of Marin social media accounts, log-on credentials must be shared with the area manager. Someone in the department should also be designated as a backup so that posting can occur regularly, frequently, and not necessarily by one person.


Profile pictures for department accounts should not contain the college logo, but should relate to the function of the department. Contact Nicole Cruz in the Marketing and Communications Office for the official College logo if you wish to use it in other promotional materials or areas of social media.

College Logo and Usage

All College publications must include the College of Marin logo. The College logo is available in several different variations and formats. Please contact Nicole Cruz to request a logo file. In addition, the Department of Education requires the inclusion of other information related to accessibility and guidance for individuals seeking special assistance. If you have questions about logo usage and required boilerplate content, please contact the College Services Department.


The College of Marin logo may not be stretched to resize or recolor. Do not add your department or project name onto the logo or incorporate the logo into a text sentence. Do not try to match your document font to the logo's typeface, as its purpose is to stand out as a recognizable identifier.

Graphic Treatments

Do not apply drop shadows or any other filters or effects to the logo. Do not layer other images or graphic elements on top or behind it.

Placement and Size

Take care in determining the appropriate size of the logo in relation to your project. Logos that are too small to be legible or are oversized look unprofessional. Do not scale or stretch the logo.

The College Seal

The seal is only to be used by the Office of the Superintendent/President for awards, diplomas, certificates, and the like. The seal and logo should never be used together or altered. The vast majority of College of Marin collateral should use the logo, not the seal.

For additional guidelines regarding use of the College name, official names of programs, offices, and buildings, etc., refer to the College of Marin Styleguide.

Connect to College of Marin’s Institutional Pages

Like College of Marin on Facebook Follow College of Marin on Twitter @collegeofmarin and Instagram @college_of_marin. Make sure to notify the Marketing and Communications Office when new accounts are created so that the institution can like and follow you, too.

Best Practices

Content Development

All content must relate directly to College business, programs, and/or services. Sharing outside content is encouraged! However, content should not promote individual opinions or causes not directly related to College purposes.

Be Accurate 

Verify information before posting. Cite sources properly and link to the original source if using material that you did not create, such as paraphrased quotes, ideas, videos. Review content for spelling and grammatical errors.

Correct Mistakes

If you make a mistake, admit it and correct it as soon as it is discovered.

Be Respectful

Realizing that the online community can sometimes incite strong feelings about a topic and may be used as a platform to air grievances, keep in mind that any responses reflect on you and the College. When responding to vehement posts, reply with caution and respect if a response is warranted. Your posts can have a broad reach and may be viewed by current and prospective students, donors, employers, parents, colleagues, and peers. Make sure that posts do not harm, alienate, or provoke.

Maintain Confidentiality

Follow federal requirements, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and College policies. Use good sense and ethical judgement when posting. Do not publish anything that is confidential or any proprietary information about College of Marin, its students, alumni, employees, or donors.

Be Aware of Liability

You can be held legally responsible for comments or photos you post. Make sure you are not breaking copyright laws or posting anything that is trademarked. Additional information on this topic is listed under resources at the end of this guide.

Do Not Make Endorsements

College of Marin should not be used to promote or favor any merchandise, organization, or political party.

The Marketing and Communications Office reserves the right to determine and remove from College of Marin social media sites any of the following:

  • Comments, links, images, or videos that are illegal or encourage illegal activity; or are obscene, defamatory, libelous, slanderous, indecent, lewd, lascivious, sexually harassing, explicit in nature, or pose health and safety risks.
  • Comments that personally attack or threaten a group or individual.
  • Anything that violates District policies regarding student, staff, and faculty regulations.
  • Successive off-topic comments or posts by one or more individuals or groups.
  • Repetitive posts.
  • Solicitations or advertisements.
  • Any materials that infringe upon the intellectual property or other rights of any third party.

Content may be removed at any time without prior notice for any reason deemed to be in the College’s best interest.
Reporting violations: Abusive content should be reported according to guidelines defined by each social media platform.

A Note on Style Guides

Reporters and editors use the Associated Press (AP) Style Guide for all newspaper copy. News releases, public service announcements, and calendar listings sent from College of Marin conform to this style. Some frequently used features include:


Spell out one through nine. Write ten and above in numerals—except when beginning a sentence:
He wrote nine books. He wrote 46 books.

Do not go beyond two decimal places:
7.51 million people.
The College received a $1 million grant.

Do not mix millions and billions:
$2.6 billion, not 2 billion 600 million.


Seasons are not capitalized (except when used to denote an issue of a journal). It is the spring semester. He will be attending the fall semester. The Associated Press Style Manual allows capitalization of seasons if it is part of a formal name. Arguably, College of Marin Spring Semester might be considered a formal name. So perhaps the jury is still out on this matter, but for the interim lowercase works in most instances.

When referring to College of Marin:

College of Marin

The College
(Incorrect: Not CoM, CofM, com, or c.o.m.)

Dates and Time

Formal writing: Saturday, September 18, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Informal writing: Sat., Sept. 18, 1 pm - 3 pm or SEPTEMBER 18, 1 PM - 3 PM


Use numerals after a person’s name separated by a comma:
John Jones, 38


Only use initial caps when preceding a name:
Superintendent/President David Wain Coon, Ed.D.
David Wain Coon is the superintendent/president of the United States.

Only use full title and full name on first reference. Subsequently, use only the last name:
Superintendent/President David Wain Coon, Ed.D., said College of Marin offers great opportunities.
“We are the community’s college,” said Coon.

Academic Degrees

Do not abbreviate or capitalize:
John Jones has a doctorate in psychology.
However, abbreviations A.A., A.S., B.S., B.A., M.A., LL.D. and Ph.D. may be used when many individuals by degree must be listed. Use these abbreviations only after a full name.

College of Marin Web Address


21 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Facebook to Get Their Mission Across

Copyright Information 

Facebook for COM Departments Workbook

Facebook Privacy Controls

Facebook Terms and Policies

Facebook Reporting

Crowd Notice - Consent and Release
College of Marin (COM) will be photographing and digitally recording during [name of event or activity]. Your image may be used in College printed and digital publications/platforms and the College website for promotional and educational purposes. By attending this event you consent to your image being used, without compensation, by COM for promotional and educational purposes and release COM from any and all liability on account of such usage. If you do not wish to be subject to the foregoing please do not enter this area.

Create a Facebook Account

Create an Instagram Account

Create a Twitter Account

Quick Ideas for Posts

What’s Going On?
  • Behind-the-scenes photos or footage
  • Share testimonials or success stories; text, photo, video
  • Show off what you’re doing
  • Introduce your faculty with brief bio
  • Share latest department or program news
  • Encourage your faculty to guest post
  • Create and share invitations to your events
  • Post and share pictures of your events
Educate, share information, and cross-post
  • Post reminders of important dates (academic calendar) 
  • Promote your programs or classes
  • Share helpful resources that relate to your program(s)
  • Statistics or data – share new, relevant industry statistics
  • Ask partner agencies and organization pages to share your posts
  • Cross-promote on-campus events and news that are posted on official College channels
  • Share news that strikes a common interest
  • Share research related to your area
  • Link to press coverage related to your program(s)
  • Promote industry-related events
  • Share feedback, reviews, press releases, featured editorials, etc.
  • Share your awards
Create Engagement
  • Create a survey
  • Hold a giveaway – e.g. photo submissions, ask followers to comment to enter
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Share a favorite book
  • Share random tips
  • Share inspirational YouTube videos
  • Wish your followers happy holidays

Good Examples of University Pages

Texas A&M Facebook 

Drake University Facebook

College Policies and Procedures Related to Social Media Communication

BP 3050      Institutional Code of Ethics
AP 3050      Institutional Code of Ethics

BP 3715      Intellectual Property
AP 3715      Intellectual Property 

BP 3720      Information Technology Use 
AP 3720      Information Technology Use

AP 3750      Use of Copyrighted Material 

BP 3900      Speech - Time, Place, Manner
AP 3900      Speech, Time, Place and Manner

BP 3920      Communication with the Public
AP 3920      Communication with the Public    

BP 5040      Student Records and Directory Information    
AP 5040      Student Records and Directory Information

BP 7360      Discipline and Dismissal, Academic Employees 

BP 7365      Discipline and Dismissal-Classified Employees 

BP 7370      Use of District Resources Political Activity