School of Hotel Administration Social Media Guide

The School of Hotel Administration has pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube, administered by the Office of Marketing and Communications. We invite you to like and follow these pages, and join in the conversation.

Many departments and programs have sites of their own to communicate with prospective students, alumni, parents, and other audiences. This is a great way to build community and have an ongoing dialogue with members of the extended SHA family.

If you'd like to create a social media account, or if you have questions about administering an existing site, contact Marketing and Communications at communications@sha.cornell.edu or 607.255.8702, or stop by 149 Statler Hall.

Best Practices

Here are some best practices to guide your efforts.

When creating content

  • Be strategic. Know what you want to accomplish and how you will measure success. Social media should not be a stand-alone tactic; integrate it into all your marketing and communications efforts.
  • Reflect the school's culture. Be hospitable. Be helpful. Be friendly.
  • Listen to your audience. Create content based on their needs and interests.
  • Provide content that is engaging and adds value. Post photos and video, and link to articles. Ask open-ended questions. Encourage discussion. Take advantage of social media conventions like Throwback Thursday (to showcase historical photos or ask trivia questions) and Follow Friday (to recommend other SHA and Cornell social media sites).
  • Link to stories and other information on SHA and Cornell websites.
  • Use good judgment. On a departmental site, you are an official representative of SHA and Cornell University. When in doubt, please don't. Posts last forever and can be found in search results years after they first appear. Furthermore, media may be following your site and mining it for story ideas.
  • Use a conversational tone; allow your personality to shine through.
  • Proofread messages before posting—check for factual, grammatical, and spelling mistakes.
  • If you do make a mistake, correct it as quickly as possible. If you make a factual error, own up to it.
  • Respect copyright and fair use laws.
  • Abide by school and university policies relating to privacy, confidentiality, discrimination, and harassment.
  • Never post material that could be viewed as hurtful, obscene, or inflammatory.

When responding to posts

  • Answer questions promptly.
  • Stick to your area of expertise; you don't have to know everything about SHA. If you're not the online spokesperson for a particular subject, direct the question to the appropriate person, department, or website to which the question is referring.
  • Be respectful. Please don't remove another administrator's posts—if you feel they are inappropriate, bring them to your supervisor's attention. Please don't delete others' posts because they are critical or because you disagree with them.
  • Let people with complaints and suggestions know they are being heard. Address complaints with information that can help to resolve the issue. Be courteous, polite, and professional at all times.
  • Please don't comment on legal matters.
  • Be transparent. When commenting on school or university matters on a non-departmental site, identify your affiliation with SHA.
  • When faced with inappropriate posts

  • Delete posts sparingly. However, posts that are threatening, defamatory, or abusive should be deleted, along with those selling products or promoting political or commercial ventures unrelated to Cornell.
  • You may wish to add a disclaimer to your site, such as the House Rules on the School of Hotel Administration Facebook site.
  • If a user criticizes you for deleting a post or comment, you can refer to the House Rules.

When creating departmental sites

  • Identify your target audiences, and select the platform(s) where they are most likely to be. Marketing and Communications can advise you on how to use each platform for maximum effectiveness.
  • Appoint at least two administrators for each account, so you’ll have backup if one is unavailable.
  • Put protocols in place for review and approval of posts. (This is particularly important if you have student administrators.)
  • Keep passwords secure.
  • Refer to the Terms of Service for platforms used: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Foursquare.
  • Logos and identifiers are available at SHA Brand Architecture. Contact Marketing and Communications if you don't see what you need.
  • Once you establish a site, your audiences will expect regular updates—expectations vary among platforms, but you should plan to monitor sites daily and post several times a week.
  • If you decide not to create a departmental site, you are always welcome to share departmental news on the school's sites. Send information to communications@sha.cornell.edu.