Guidelines for Departments

Social Media Banner

Guidelines for Departmental Social Media Activity and Related Content

This section applies to those posting on behalf of an official university unit, though the guidelines may be helpful for anyone posting on social media in any capacity.

  • BE RESPONSIVE to posts by followers and fans. Due to the immediacy of social media, reasonable response times should be:
    • within four hours during the work day;
    • 24 hours during the traditional work week;
    • 48 hours over the weekend.
  • BE CAUTIOUS when responding to negative posts. If you are unsure about the appropriate response, ask your supervisor or contact us for guidance. Remember, social media spaces are public forums, which support freedom of speech. Our disclaimer references that items deemed threatening or defamatory may be monitored or removed. Note: it would be up to the judicial system to declare a statement defamatory. Avoid such interpretation on your own. If necessary, approach University Communications and Marketing for counsel.
  • THINK TWICE before posting. Privacy does not exist in the world of social media. Consider what could happen if a post becomes widely known and how that may reflect both on the originating social media participant and the university. Search engines can turn up posts years after they are created, and comments can be forwarded or copied. If you wouldn’t say it at a conference, to a colleague or to a member of the media, consider whether you should post it online. Be mindful of the various stakeholders served by the university’s social media.
  • BE ACCURATE: Get the facts straight before posting them on social media. Review content for grammatical and spelling errors. If you make a mistake, correct it as soon as possible.
  • BE RESPECTFUL: Understand that content contributed to a social media site could encourage comments or discussion of opposing ideas. Responses should be considered carefully in light of how they would reflect on the poster and/or the university and its institutional voice.
  • MONITOR YOUR KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS on a monthly basis to help measure your plan’s effectiveness.