Social Media Guidelines
Social media is a type of online media that expedites conversation as opposed to traditional media, which delivers content but doesn’t allow readers/viewers/listeners to participate in the creation or development of the content. Examples include but are not limited to LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress, etc. They are channels for you to share knowledge, market your department or function, express your creativity and connect with others who share your interests. It can also be a powerful communication tool that can have a significant impact on both an organizational and professional reputation, both positively and negatively.
Both in professional and institutional roles, employees need to follow the same behavioral standards online as they would in real life. The same laws, professional expectations and guidelines for interacting with students, parents, alumni, donors, media and other university constituents apply online as in the real world.
Because social media channels are fairly new to many employees, we’ve assembled some general recommendations and best practice guidelines to help you use these forums effectively, protect your personal and professional reputation and follow University policies.
Official UNF Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube pages have been designed by Public Relations to spread the good news about the University’s research, academic programs, faculty, staff, students and community events. The pages will be maintained by Public Relations and will list all official social media sites maintained by the University. A general Web page on the UNF website is also available to list all official social media sites.
The Public Relations Department will review all comments posted on the official page and will remove any that are inappropriate, offensive, contain insults or attacks, are duplicate posts, contain illegal suggestions or contain advertisements/SPAM/solicitation.
Your event must be submitted to the Campus Calendar of Events on the UNF website in order to be considered for a posting on the official UNF pages, must be sponsored by the University and must be open to the public.
- Protect confidential and proprietary information: Do not post confidential or proprietary information about UNF, students, employees or alumni. All applicable state and federal requirements such as FERPA, HIPA and NCAA regulations must still be followed. Remove all posts which compromise confidential information.
- If requiring the use of social media for coursework, please be aware of any potential legal issues that may need to be first addressed by the General Counsel’s office. Issues potentially arising would include requiring students to provide demographic information online, the potential “course material” being in a public domain and the data residing outside of UNF’s networks.
- Adhere to all copyright and intellectual property rights.
- Any photos posted of individuals should have all necessary releases.
- Adhere to the Terms of Service of any Social Media platform employed.
- All official general UNF sites (i.e. UNF Facebook page) will be owned by Public Relations. Other pages or sites should include a clear description of the area, department or function in which they are represented, so they are not confused with the general UNF page.
- Anyone administering or owning a site for UNF should be authorized to speak on behalf of your area/department.
- Must post a copy of Osprey Rules in the information section of your Facebook page.
- Osprey Rules: We encourage you to leave comments, photos, videos and links. We will review all comments and will remove any that are inappropriate, offensive or contain insults.
- Any information about a UNF event, etc. that involves your department/unit should always be posted FIRST on your UNF Web page and online campus calendar of events. Your social media site should only be a supplement and not the only means of communicating information to the campus community and beyond.
- If it’s brought to our attention that your Facebook page is not being kept updated, Public Relations reserves the right to pull your page from the social media Web page.
- 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 on both the poster and the University.
- Linking back to UNF website/social media page. When you post a link to a blog, event, etc. to your social media page, provide a link back to your social media site or the UNF website for your user’s convenience.
- Strive for accuracy. Remember you are posting on behalf of the University. Ensure the information being posted is accurate and timely. Also, review content for grammatical and spelling errors. It’s always better to be accurate than having to publish a retraction later.
- 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 University.
- Current and timely. If you are going to have a social media site then it should be monitored and information and/or responses should be timely. If a mistake or error is posted then correct it timely and visibly.
- Remember your audience. This could include prospective students, current students, employers, colleagues and peers. Ensure that what you post will not alienate, harm or provoke any of these groups.
- Be transparent. Be honest about your identity. If you are authorized by your supervisor to represent UNF in social media, say so and identify yourself appropriately. Never hide your identity for the purpose of promoting UNF through social media.
- Monitor comments. Most people who maintain social media sites welcome comments—it builds credibility and community. However, if possible, set your site so that you can review and approve comments before they appear. This allows you to respond in a timely way to comments. It also allows you to delete spam comments and to block any individuals who repeatedly post offensive or frivolous comments.