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Social Media Policy
This policy is applicable to all members of the University community, including all students, faculty, staff, alumni, student organizations, colleges, programs, institutes, divisions and departments.
Social media: Media outlets designed to be disseminated through social interaction, including without limitation, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare, Flickr, and MySpace.
Social media are far-reaching and continuously evolving communication outlets that can have a significant impact on an organization’s image and reputation. Official University social media sites may be developed in an effort to provide detailed and personalized information on a specific unit’s programs and activities and to foster interaction among interested parties.
This policy clarifies how best to enhance and protect the professional reputation of the University and its colleges and units when participating in social media networks. For more assistance with social media issues, please contact the communications officer in your unit or the Division of Public Affairs.
The same policies and principles for professional conduct and behavior apply in the social media context. When posting on a social media site, the following procedures must be followed:
- No confidential or proprietary information about the University or its students, faculty, staff or alumni shall be posted on a social media site. Employees who share confidential information do so at the risk of disciplinary action or termination.
- All applicable laws, regulations and University policies must be strictly adhered to, including without limitation, those pertaining to copyright and intellectual property rights, employee or student conduct, use of University resources, information and data, student privacy, and NCAA rules and regulations.
- The following disclaimer should be added to all University sites: “Please note that content shared or posted may be subject to Florida's Public Records Law.”
- A permanent link to the official University website (www.fau.edu) must be included on all University sites.
- No single unit’s social media site represents the University as a whole. Consider this when naming pages and accounts and selecting profile pictures or icons such that it clearly specifies the University unit being represented.
- University units that have one or more social media pages or would like to start one should contact the Division of Public Affairs or the communications officer assigned to that division or college.
- Social media websites maintained on behalf of University units should be kept up to date and in compliance with all University policies. Sites that are not kept current or in compliance with University policies may be de-activated. All social media websites maintained on behalf of University units shall be accessible by the Office of Information Technology.
- The University name, logo or trademarks may not be used on personal social media pages or sites or to endorse a product or support a cause, political or otherwise.
- The Florida Atlantic University name, official marks and logos must be used in accordance with the guidelines stipulated in FAU’s visual standards manual and with approval of the Division of Public Affairs.
Vice President, Public Affairs
Social Media Best Practices
Prior to creating any social network involving Florida Atlantic University, you must receive authorization from your supervisor. In order to be listed on the official university social network directory, fill out the form provided by Marketing and Creative Services. After approval, your page will be listed and recognized as an official social network page for Florida Atlantic University. Any information posted to a social network represents a voice for the university and/or particular department. Seek approval from your supervisor prior to posting.
Before posting any information, make sure that it is accurate and credible. If you are uncertain, do not post any content at all. If possible, provide links or photos that can supply context to the post. Remember, you are representing the university and providing erroneous information can harm credibility to the university and your department.
Post Valuable Information
Social media is a tool for widespread communication. Take advantage of the tool and present meaningful information to users. Post should be relevant to the nature of the page.
If users are allowed to post comments, they should be monitored frequently. Anything offensive, threatening, or considered spam, should be removed immediately.
Users are most likely going to use your social media page as a resource for information and answers to questions they have. Always respond to feedback instead of ignoring it. If you are unsure of an answer, direct the user to the appropriate place to where they can receive a proper response.
As a representative of Florida Atlantic University, it is essential you engage in respectful and thoughtful discussion with users. Occasionally, users may post criticisms towards a post. Correct any false information constructively rather than initiating an argument. Personal opinions should be kept to yourself.
Postings should be updated and monitored regularly. At least three postings a week should be the minimum. Develop a routine that will contribute to this. Pages that are left inactive contribute a poor image to the university and/ or department. Remember not to overload the page with information. Users who are faced with information overload are more likely not to return.