Preface: These guidelines are only for the APECS International Social Media channels. They do not cover the Social Media channels of the APECS National Committee which might have different rules. It is however advised that the APECS National Committee follow the international guidelines.
This document was last updated in April 2020.
1. APECS Social Media Objectives
Social Media are powerful communication tools when used effectively. APECS Social Media accounts should be used as an extension of the APECS Mission and Strategic Aims in order to:
- Maintain a network of polar and alpine researchers across disciplines and national boundaries to meet, share ideas and experiences, as well as develop new research directions and collaborations;
- Share opportunities regarding career development in both traditional and emerging professions related to the polar and alpine regions and the cryosphere;
- Promote education and outreach activities as integral components of polar and alpine research
2. The APECS Social Media Coordinators
The APECS Social Media Coordinators are appointed by the Executive Committee ideally for a two-year term. All APECS Council members are eligible to apply for the position(s).
The Social Media Coordinators will introduce themselves and their strategy for the term to the ExCom and NCs via email at the beginning of each term.
If a Social Media Coordinator is away for a period of time longer than 3 days, they should communicate to the ExCom to arrange for a (temporary) replacement
If a Social Media Coordinator is absent or inactive for more than 1 month without giving the Executive Committee a reason for their absence or inactivity, they will be removed from their position and their access to Social Media accounts revoked.
3. APECS Social Media Policies
3.1.1. APECS International Social Media Accounts are listed on the APECS website.
3.1.2. Access to APECS Social Media accounts is centrally managed by the APECS Executive Committee and Executive Director and will be made available to the elected Social Media Coordinators at the beginning of their term and for the duration of their position
3.1.3. In order to ensure that the content posted on the APECS Social Media accounts is in accordance to these guidelines, it is not permitted to share the login details to any other person than those listed in 3.1.2. See point 3.3.1. for information on how APECS committees and project groups can submit information to be posted via the APECS Social Media channels.
3.1.4. Passwords to the APECS Social Media accounts are changed annually and will only be given out to the Social Media Coordinators, Executive Committee members and members of the APECS International Directorate Office for the period these are active in their roles. Password changes can only be made by the APECS Executive Director.
3.1.5. A member of the Executive Committee will be appointed to support the Social Media Coordinators. The ExCom contact will ensure there is consistent and frequent posting on the APECS Social Media accounts
3.1.6. APECS members are not authorized to set up new Social Media accounts on behalf of APECS and/or change the passwords on the communication platforms without the express permission from the APECS Executive Director and APECS Executive Committee. For a list of the Social Media accounts of our APECS National Committees page on the APECS website.
3.1.7. Any extraneous accounts will be removed.
3.2. General Content
3.2.1. It is important to remember that information shared on the APECS Social Media accounts should only be about:
- APECS-sponsored events and activities
- Results of members’ research
- Relevant opportunities for early career researchers
- National Committee activities
- New items relevant to polar and alpine research, not limited to but with an emphasis on APECS partner organisations
3.2.2. It is also important to remember that APECS is a non-partisan organisation (see Appendix 3 “APECS Policy on Political Activity” of the APECS Rules of Procedure), focused solely on its mandate. Any communication disseminated through official APECS channels should comply with the above policies and must remain apolitical. Our aim is solely to inform people about polar and alpine research, share education and outreach activities related to the polar and alpine regions and share career development opportunities for early career researchers. Thus, political issues and expression of political opinions have to be avoided at all costs (e.g. posting on sovereignty disputes, whaling policy, etc.).
Requests to post on APECS Social Media channels originate from many places, particularly Facebook messages. These requests should be screened for relevance and appropriateness by the Social Media Coordinators before posting. If the Social Media Coordinators are unsure about how a request should be handled, they should contact the ExCom contact for the Social Media Coordinators, who will either make a decision on the matter or request further advice from the rest of the ExCom and the Executive Director.
3.3. Posting Content
3.3.1. APECS members, committees and project groups can submit content to be posted via the APECS Social Media channels via this form. Requests should ideally be submitted with 48 hours notice, and requesters should be cognizant that urgent requests to post during the weekend may not be handled until the weekday.
3.3.2. General Rules for posting content to APECS Social Media
22.214.171.124. Ensure posting across all platforms is consistent (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram with the same post).
126.96.36.199. APECS News items (e.g. big opportunities and major APECS events, or news about APECS International) should be shared via the APECS Social Media accounts. The order for posting should be: First the news item is posted on the APECS website and afterwards can be shared shared via the APECS mailing list and Social Media Channels (unless the APECS leadership has a specific reason to change this order for a particular announcement).
188.8.131.52. For greatest impact, posts on any platform should include:
- An image (make sure you have permission from the owner of image/copyright etc). Images posted on Instagram should ideally be a square (1:1) format.
- A shortened URL (you can shorten the link here: https://goo.gl/)
- Language: the main language for posts is English, but we accept other posts if the message is written by native speakers of that language, and the post(s) is appropriate with APECS’ goals and these Social Media Guidelines
- GIFs and videos are excellent for impact. The Social Media Coordinators should seek opportunities to upload these to Social Media platforms. Always check for copyright details and permission before loading new material online.
- Please ensure that posts have correct grammar and proper spelling. If the Social Media Coordinators believe that the text is incorrect, they may correct it or contact you for a clarification.
- Try to create original post for the news you would like to share. Avoid ‘sharing’ content from others, unless it is strategically appropriate to do so. If you do share posts, ensure you provide some commentary for context on why this shared post is of value to APECS members and followers.
- Tag partners and National Committees when possible using their relevant usernames for the platform on which the Social Media is being posted.
- A balance of the topics posted, considering content from:
- Different research disciplines, including polar education and outreach news.
- Different National Committees.
- Different localities of research, etc.
- Arctic / Antarctic / Alpine / Cryosphere research.
3.4. Frequency of Posting
- Ideally, one post per day.
- An effort should be made to post across different time zones to ensure visibility.
- Use the scheduling tool on Facebook and on Tweetdeck to time content release. Unfortunately, Instagram and LinkedIn lack a scheduling feature at the time of writing.
- Such scheduling tools are good for time management of the Social Media Coordinator role, with an hour of your time every week or so devoted to scheduling content, instead of frequent times during the week.
3.5. Removal of Posts and authorized person(s)
3.5.1 If a member of the APECS ExCom or Social Media Coordinators deems another member’s post inappropriate, too frequent, or in breach of any of the policies mentioned, the post may be removed. Be courteous when removing a post, and inform the other member why it has happened. It may be something they don’t know about – and that’s okay! The post can easily be re-posted if there’s been a misunderstanding. We’re all friends, albeit remotely.
3.5.2. If a Social Media Coordinator ignores guidelines and warnings about inappropriate behaviour, the Executive Committee may remove them from their position and revoke their access to accounts.
3.6. Messages, Spam and Abuse
- Many messages are sent to APECS via social media. The Social Media Coordinators should regularly check that all messages are responded to in a prompt manner by switching on notifications for messages. They can check with the Executive Committee and Executive Director if they are unsure about how to answer a message.
- Spam messages should be reported immediately and blocked.
- Posts should always be monitored for abuse and spam, with comments deleted and blocked if necessary.
3.7. Visual Standards
Official logos should be used on cover pages and icons.