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    Social media can be a very exciting, real-time method for communicating with our audience, but with that opportunity comes great responsibility. The creation of a social media account requires planning and a dedicated commitment to ongoing management. Account owners must be willing to remain engaged and understand that social media lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Inactive accounts reflect badly on the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU). As such, all requested accounts must be approved by Communications.

    At this time, the following CCIU social media accounts are active:

    When considering a social media account, please consider the following:

    • Why do you want to create a social media account? – The reason should be more than just to reach more people. There needs to be a short- and long-term strategy behind it.
    • Will you be able to create engaging content on a consistent basis? – The highest level of success comes from a mix of your own content and the content of others, as well as invitations to interact. While there is no magic number, a general rule of thumb is at least 1-2 posts per week.
    • Is there already an account with a similar audience? – Development of an online following takes time and requires deliberate marketing, so if there is an account that already exists with your audience, see if you can work together.
    • Are you able to commit a single point person to monitor the account? – The advantage, and at times disadvantage, of social media is the ability for two-way, real-time communication and group sharing. Questions, comments, tags, hashtags and more require immediate attention and require appropriate, media-trained responses.

    Once an account has been established, the following considerations must be adhered to when posting:

    • Be always cognizant of the CCIU message and editorial voice. Every post should reflect the brand appropriately. Be engaging and authentic.
    • All photos used must have the appropriate rights of usage. Model release forms must be signed for all students within a photo. Do not copy photos off the web - this is copyright infringement!
    • Remember that social media is more like a conversation. Talk to your followers like you would talk to real people in professional situations. Don’t be afraid to bring in your own personality. Consider content that’s open-ended and invites a response. Encourage comments. You can also broaden the conversation by citing others who are writing about the same topic.
    • Are you adding value? Social posts should be thought-provoking and build a sense of community. In general, social media content adds value if it enhances readers’ knowledge or skills, assists in solving problems or helps people understand the CCIU better.
    • What you publish is widely accessible and will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully. Stick to your area of expertise. Don’t comment on inquiries out of your realm of expertise. If in doubt, always ask before responding. If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront, and be quick with your correction.
    • Be careful about grammar and spelling errors; consider having someone else check your posts.
    • Be diligent about fact-checking. Never spread false or inaccurate information or speculate about a situation or something else that could happen in the future. Do not comment on rumors.
    • When possible, pause and let the community police negative comments; if necessary, contact Communications if a situation gets out of hand. Don’t fuel fires or engage in a war of words with commenters.

    FOR ALL CCIU EMPLOYEES: In online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. Just by identifying yourself as a CCIU employee, you are creating perceptions about your expertise and the organization by our stakeholders, students and the general public—and perceptions about you by your colleagues and managers. Be sure that all content associated with you is consistent with your work and with CCIU’s values and professional standards.