New York Medical College

Offices & Services

Social Media Best Practices

Social Media Best Practices


Below is a series of guidelines, best practices and recommendations for establishing and maintaining a presence in the social media sphere for your department, school or group. Here you will find information on how to set up an account, use it effectively, and protect your personal privacy and professional reputation while using social media.

Social MediaHave a strategy. Identify your purpose, who you want to reach (audience), types of content you intend to share and overarching goals. From there start with one social media outlet, such as creating a fan or group page on Facebook, and develop a presence.

Set goals. What are you trying to accomplish through this avenue of communication? It might be to promote your NYMC group/department/program; connect with alumni; create a community for fans; or increase overall awareness and recognition of your NYMC entity. Other social media goals include: increased traffic to website, reputation management, brand awareness, search engine rankings, or community building. Who is your audience? It’s important to know who you are communicating with before determining what to communicate. Finally, how do you want your audience to respond? Before you establish a social media account, know what you want out of the enterprise.

Make sure you can devote sufficient time. Don't start a social media effort unless you can devote the time and resources to maintaining new content on a regular basis. New content is critical to thrive in social media communities. Be sure to keep your account active, posting once a week at minimum. Establishing and then neglecting or abandoning a social media outpost reflects poorly on the university.

Follow existing NYMC policies and account Terms of Service. This includes the electronic communications policy, conflict of interest policies, and other policies regarding confidentiality, privacy. For a list of NYMC policies, click here. You should also be familiar with the Terms of Service for each social media platform you engage.

Adhere to NYMC graphic standards.

Accuracy. Make sure you have all of the facts before you post. Cite and link to sources whenever possible to help build a community. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly. Never use a false screen name or pseudonym to set up an account, and don’t hide your identity as a member of the NYMC community when posting or commenting. Unfortunate consequences have resulted for those who tried to “promote” an organization by pretending to be an impartial observer or “fan.”

Courtesy and Respect. Respect for the dignity of others and to the civil and thoughtful discussion of opposing ideas is critical. Feel free to respectfully disagree with a position but please do not propagate online confrontation as it reflects poorly on both the individual and NYMC. A good rule of thumb: if you would not say it in person, don’t say it online.

Dealing with Feedback. Listen to people and respond to as many comments as possible with constructive feedback. Allow negative comments, delete spam or vulgar posts, and seek to respond rather than censor. If comments are lewd, libelous, incite violence or are otherwise hurtful or hateful speech directed at either individuals or groups, NYMC account administrators reserve the right to delete such comments. If you feel a post is threatening in nature or otherwise merits some greater concern, contact PR or Security for guidance.

Represent yourself and the College appropriately. Only authorized persons should establish an account in the name of a recognized NYMC entity. Don’t speak outside of your expertise, but try to direct the person to the proper resource. As a non-profit institution, NYMC discourages commercial promotion or advertising. Do not use the College name to promote or endorse any product, cause or political party or candidate. If in doubt about anything you’d like to post, ask your supervisor or contact PR.


Page updated: September 7, 2011