Supervision of social-media channels at the Virginia Institute of Marine science is the purview of the News & Media Services office. Please [[v|vimspr,consult with us]] for best practices before considering the use of social media for strategic communications at VIMS.
Oversight of accounts
Internal units at VIMS that wish to start their own social-media account should first contact [[v|vimspr, the VIMS social-media manager.]] Please be prepared to answer the following questions:
Who is your intended audience?
What is your goal?
How will you measure success?
How frequently do you plan to post?
What type of content do you plan to post?
Who will be the primary administrator? Is there a back-up administrator available when needed?
Will the administrator monitor the account on a daily basis to reply to any questions/concerns?
Is there a compelling reason for not using the VIMS website and/or our existing social-media channels?
General resources for social-media strategy, guidelines, policies, and best practices can also be found on the William & Mary website.
The purpose of social media at VIMS is to:
increase awareness of our three-part mission of research, education, and advisory service
engage target audiences by sharing content that clearly shows the value we bring to society and the environment
promote a community of engaged "brand ambassadors" for VIMS
reinforce our brand and messaging
drive traffic to the VIMS website
create a sense of community with both internal and external audiences
notify external audiences of upcoming events and provide access to logistical details
alert traditional media outlets to newsworthy stories
The social-media community at VIMS values:
responsiveness to stakeholders
active feedback from stakeholders
conversation, the exchange of ideas, reflection
content that is shared via retweets, likes, and comments
communication that offers a sense of place and thus differentiates VIMS from other social-media sites
fun! (the chance to show a culture beyond our reputation)
General policy related to social media at VIMS includes the following:
make every effort to ensure our content is factual and based on scientific evidence
encourage reasonable dialogue and offer a balanced perspective and multiple points of view
provide proper attribution when citing or sharing content produced elsewhere
We do not
advocate, persuade, sanction, or prescribe actions concerning legislation or policy issues
use or allow comments that contain hate language
allow posts that would be offensive to a reasonable person
use profanity, or placeholders of profanity, in posts
allow comments that are personal attacks against public figures, or members of the VIMS community
When you use social media on behalf of a unit at VIMS, your channel should reinforce the VIMS brand. Consider the following:
everything you post on social media affects VIMS’ reputation; either enhancing the institutional brand or detracting from it
we expect high editorial quality. This includes limiting typos, grammatical errors, and subpar content
pages should use compelling images that reflect the work of that unit
whenever possible, add @Virginia Institute of Marine Science (Facebook), @VIMS_News (Twitter) and @vainstituteofmarinescience (Instagram) to your social-media posts (this adds legitimacy and ties your channel to a strong brand)
do not feature the VIMS logo as your profile photo, as users could mistake the page for the main VIMS page
The News & Media Services office will continue to focus on: