Social Media Guidelines

[Social Media]


Noun (usually used with a plural verb) digital technology.

Professor takes a selfie with the hawk mascot

Online methods of communication that are used by large groups of people to share information and to develop social and professional contacts.

Social media are electronic applications that enable users to participate in social networking by exchanging content with other users. Examples of social media include but are not limited to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr.


The Marketing and Communication department at the College of Southern Maryland oversees the official college social media profile.

College of Southern Maryland has an official presence on:

The goal of these accounts is to engage with our many constituents by sharing news, events, announcements, photos and the occasional general social commentary


All official College of Southern Maryland social media sites must adhere to state and federal laws and regulations, and college policies. Only public information may be posted on official college social media accounts. Official college social media profiles must not contain sensitive personal information or other confidential information as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA) Regulations, as applicable. Any sensitive personal information or other confidential information posted on an official College social media accounts must be removed by the site administrator as soon as possible upon discovery.

General Guidelines for Affiliated Social Media Sites

The following guidelines serve as a starting point for anyone interested in creating a CSM related social media profile. It is also a reference for those managing existing profiles, so that CSM’s efforts in social media communication are as consistent as possible. Before submitting a request to create a new social media presence for your department, activity or organization, consider whether you would be better served by working with the Marketing department to utilize CSM’s primary social media profiles. By creating your own CSM affiliated feed you should be prepared to monitor and update it frequently. All CSM affiliated social media channels are considered an extension of the official website. 

All College of Southern Maryland affiliated sites must support the college’s mission, goals, and programs. 

Prior to engaging in any form of social media involving College of Southern Maryland, you must receive permission from your supervisor, department head, or club advisor.

Make an official request to Marketing Department by requesting an account by emailing If approved, you can move forward with creating the profile.

Use your CSM email address to set up a social media site related to the college.

  • Do not use your personal email address.
  • Do not link your personal social media accounts with CSM affiliated accounts. Update platforms frequently.

Appropriate content, interaction, and engagement are essential to creating a successful social media profile. 

Accounts must adhere to CSM’s Style Manual guideline. To view Style Manual, please visit:

Remember, when using a social media channel on behalf of the college, you are representing CSM. Since you are representing the college, do not subscribe to causes, games, petitions, or other application extensions or participate in popular internet memes/trends unless your receive approval from your department head and the social media administrator.  

Confidential or proprietary college information should not be shared publically on any social media channels.

Respect your colleagues, associates, college supporters, and the community (i.e.: social media fans or followers). 

CSM social media feeds are meant to be an interactive place where followers can receive information about the college and engage in conversation. We want to hear from you, and we encourage comments, questions, and suggestions. To ensure that everyone has a positive experience on our sites, please understand that we will not tolerate: 

  • Abusive behavior, harassing, stalking, threatening, or personally attacking others
  • Hateful language targeting race/ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, political beliefs, sexual orientation
  • Fraudulent, deceptive, misleading, or unlawful posts/comments
  • Content that is spamming in nature
  • Solicitation of goods or services
  • Defamatory, offensive, obscene, or vulgar comments
  • Uploading files or links that contain viruses or programs that could damage the operation of other people’s computers
  • Any posts about a legal issue, legal case, or attorneys
  • Posting of any personal information including, but not limited to, email address, or phone number
  • Trolling or deliberate disruption of discussion
  • Any other unacceptable posts or comments that presents a positive experience for all users

All individuals posting on College of Southern Maryland’s social media sites are required to follow any governing policies, regulations, or statements of rights and responsibilities of the respective social media platform. College of Southern Maryland reserves the right to screen shot, archive, and remove posts that do not adhere to the guidelines listed above, and to temporarily block or ban anyone who violates these guidelines from posting on our social media sites, and to report any conduct, including but not limited to offensive, fraudulent, deceptive, hateful, abusive, defamatory, vulgar, or lewd content, to the respective social media platform. Once the temporary block has concluded, the individual will be unblocked from the CSM social media profile and full access will be reinstated. If the individual continues to violate these guidelines or the governing policies and regulations of the respective social media platform, the individual will be reported to the appropriate social media platform and may be banned from CSM’s social media site indefinitely.

Please note that CSM does not endorse any opinions, visuals, or other type of material not specifically posted by us. Additionally, the college is not responsible for the accuracy of the claims, information, advice, or comments posted by followers and visitors of the page.

If activity on a social networking channel is reported as violating campus policy as outlined in the student handbook, it will be investigated and handled according to the college disciplinary process. If you have specific questions relating to posts violating campus policy contact the Director of Student Affairs.

CSM employees shall not require, request, suggest, or cause a student, prospective student, or applicant to disclose, grant access to, or allow observation of non-public access information pertaining to any social media account. CSM employees shall not require that a student, prospective student, or applicant change the privacy settings on a personal social media account.

CSM employees shall not require a student, prospective student, or applicant to designate a CSM employee or agent of the college as a “friend,” a “follower,” or any other designation that would afford the employee or agent access to personal social media account information that is not publicly available.

CSM employees shall not require a student, prospective student, or applicant to log onto any social media account in the presence of a CSM employee or agent of the institution.

CSM employees shall not require that a student, prospective student, or applicant provide names of the social media platforms that he/she employs.

College of Southern Maryland recognizes the unauthorized use of protected trademarks.

Below are violations of the use, parody accounts related to the college. They include violations of Twitter’s terms of service, Facebook's community standards, or appropriate social media platform usage.  Accounts found in violation of the rules and guidelines outlined below will be reported to the appropriate social media channel and, if necessary, to the appropriate parties on campus.

CSM does not authorize and will not tolerate the use of its logo, wordmarks or other official visual identity elements or intellectual property on unofficial accounts. The username AND profile name should distinguish the account with a qualifier such as "not," "fake," or "fan" per Twitter’s parody, commentary and fan accounts policy. The bio must include a statement to distinguish it from the real account, such as “this account is not affiliated with…” as per various parody, commentary and fan accounts policy for example.

Social media channels, per its rules, will respond to clear and complete notices of alleged copyright infringement, set forth in its terms of service. Social media channels reserve the right to immediately terminate your account without further notice in the event that, in its judgment, you violate these rules or the terms of service. Social media channels reserve the right to ban fake or impostor timelines.

Best Practices for Social Media Accounts

In addition to these general tips, we've provided a few additional suggestions based on the individual social media channels Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Please be aware that our students’ and employees’ safety is our top priority. Threatening posts against the college are taken seriously and will be passed onto the proper authorities so that the necessary action can be taken.

Never give out personal information on social media channels such as social security numbers, passwords, addresses, or phone numbers. College of Southern Maryland will never request this type of information from you through a social media site.

Always remember that social media channels are not necessarily “private.” Regardless of your privacy settings, anyone you are connected to might share something you have posted online. Please be careful what information you share online.

Be thoughtful before you post, respect the purpose of the community where you are posting and be relevant. If you are given permission to create a social media profile on behalf of CSM, always consider the following. 

  • Think before you post
  • Be appropriately transparent
  • Be accurate
  • Be respectful
  • Be a valued member
  • Consider your audience
  • Respect college time and property
  • “Like” or “follow” other CSM social media profiles
  • Create and engage in appropriate conversations with the community, fans, and followers
  • Post events, comments, questions, etc. to other CSM social media profiles.

Does the College Monitor Social Media Accounts?

CSM does not monitor personal social media accounts. Becoming a fan or follower of the college’s social media profiles, does not mean we can access your accounts.  However, CSM does monitor the college’s name or variations of the college’s name online. We use keyword search engines, such as Sprout Social, to view specific keyword searches through social media posts that are shared publicly to monitor what’s being said about CSM. 

We routinely monitor the college’s name and variations of it, such as:

  • College of Southern Maryland
  • CSM
  • CSMHawks

We use this information to respond with assistance, and if appropriate, share status updates and retweet tweets about the college.  It is important to remember that when you refer to CSM in your personal or college related social media profiles, you impact our brand, image, and reputation. Do not use the college's logo on your personal social media profiles. Others might perceive that you are representing the college in an official capacity and take your comments as those of an official spokesperson for the college.

Interacting with CSM on Social Media

As a member of the CSM community, there are many ways you can interact with the official college social media accounts. Here are some ideas on how you can engage with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via your personal accounts. 

Ways to Engage with CSM Social Media

  1. Like us on Facebook.
  2. Comment on or like posts on our Facebook timeline.
  3. Share CSM Facebook posts on your personal page.
  4. Tag CSM in your own Facebook posts.
  5. Suggest the CSM Facebook page to your friends.
  6. Follow us on Instagram
  7. Comment on or like post on our Instagram page.
  8. Include the #CSMHawks hashtag in your posts about the college.
  9. Include the @collegeofsouthernmaryland in your posts about the college.
  10. Follow us on Twitter.
  11. Retweet our posts to your Twitter followers.
  12. Include the @CSMHawks username in your tweets about the college.
  13. Include the #CSMHawks hashtag in your tweets about the college
  14. Include @CSMHawks in your Twitter profile information.
  15. Share links on Twitter directing your followers to your own CSM endeavors.
  16. Use relevant hashtags to make your Twitter posts searchable.
  17. Share YouTube videos.
  18. Check into campus locations via Facebook or Instagram.
  19. Share campus photos through Instagram
  20. Update your LinkedIn profile to include CSM info. These ideas are geared toward your personal, everyday use of social media.

Participate and Connect

We want to hear from you! Visit CSM’s social media profiles and like the ones that interest you the most. Utilize social media to connect with friends, family, alumni, and classmates. Social media provides a great opportunity for you to connect and engage with the world around you.

General Questions or Concerns

If you have any questions about specific social media posts or content, contact the Marketing Department.

Social Media Terms and Conditions

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