Monitoring and Responding

Facebook Reactions.

Open communication is at the heart of social media. Most users not only expect to be able to comment on your pages, but also to be acknowledged when they take the time to do so. Whether showing our fans some love, responding to questions or identifying issues, keep the following guidelines in mind.

On this page:

Identify admin roles

  • Be sure your social media strategy specifies who will function as page administrators and what is expected of them
  • Identify more than one person to act as page administrator. This allows units to spread the workload and ensures your unit will have immediate access to your page in the event of an administrator’s absence, departure or reassignment
  • Be sure anyone (including students, faculty and staff) who responds to public comments is authorized to represent UB and your department. You will be functioning as a spokesperson for your unit. Get the approval of your unit head to post on your unit’s behalf
UB's Quick Reference Guide to Responding Is it prideful? Show love Is it constructive? Let it be Is it false? Correct facts Is it abusive or harassing? Warn, hide, block or report Is it outside of your expertise? Refer to expert Does it negatively affect UB's image? Refer to UC Is it threatening? Refer to UC or University Police.

If you're not sure what to say, or whether to comment, use this Quick Reference as a guide or contact UBuffalo Social

Decide how (or whether) you will respond

Most user commentary simply reflects UB pride or an individual’s point of view. But sometimes what’s said online may be threatening, harassing or potentially harmful to UB’s reputation. 

Part of your responsibility as a UB page administrator is to:

  • Monitor your channels DAILY. Look at all of the places where users can comment or interact with your page
  • Make our fans feel like we’re paying attention
  • Give them positive reinforcement for engaging with us
  • Quickly respond to customer service questions that pertain to your unit and connect those outside of your expertise with UBuffalo Social
  • Protect the integrity of your social media channels, the rights of our fans and followers, and the reputation of UB and your unit
  • When appropriate, choose not to respond. If we cannot provide value to our followers, we recommend not participating in the conversation
  • Even constructive dialogue can be heated. As long as it’s not abusive or harassing it’s generally OK. If you are unsure, refer to UB Comment Guidelines

If the conversation becomes difficult, and problems arise, please reference our Issues Management page for guidance.

Beware of Unintended Endorsements

Our interactions with our audiences on social media can yield meaningful connections, but the public visibility of these interactions can sometimes result in unintended consequences. 

Take, for instance, when a UB social media account follows a user, likes, shares or retweets a user’s post, or allows users to post events or promote causes on our pages. Interactions like these are seen as implied university endorsements of the individual or organization doing the posting (and what they stand for) or the message within that post.

As administrators of UB social media accounts, we must be aware that just because a user tags or follows our UB account, or includes our hashtag in their post, it does not necessarily mean the user is an advocate.

It is also important to understand that as administrators, we are acting and speaking on behalf of the university—not promoting our personal points of view.

As an administrator for a UB social media account, it is important that you:

  • Interact intentionally and thoughtfully to ensure your account is endorsing and promoting users and messages supportive of UB’s values and mission.
  • Only follow, like, share, retweet or otherwise “endorse” others carefully, after reviewing users’ and organizations’ bios and past posts to ensure they are who they say they are.
  • Do not use tools or apps that automatically engage with users (e.g. auto-follow tools that automatically follow any user who follows you)       

Use your best judgement and remember that each action you take as a UB social media account administrator reflects on UB’s reputation. If you are in doubt about a user or need further assistance, please contact the UB Social team:

You can find more information on UB’s values, commitments and issue positions here:

Comment Guidelines

Key Issues

Use good judgment and be professional

  • Be genuine. Interact with users/fans individually, as if you’re talking to them in person. You will be more credible
  • Use your own voice but respond as a representative of UB (“we” vs. “I” or “the university”)
  • Respond politely, truthfully and in a timely manner
  • Proof your posts and responses carefully
  • Debate, but don’t attack

Protect our followers

  • Comply with all applicable laws
  • Do not post confidential information 
  • Adhere to state, federal and other governing laws and regulations related to information security and privacy, especially FERPA (access to student education records), HIPAA (access to personal health care records), NCAA (student-athlete guidelines), as well as university privacy policies

Get help or escalate

If comments deal with unfamiliar topics, or topics for which you are not the subject-matter expert, forward the concern to UBuffalo Social.

If comments are abusive, harassing or threatening, follow the guidelines on our Issues Management page. 

Strengthen your skills

For tips on monitoring and responding, check out our Social Media Circle training presentation.