Social Media Guidelines
OFFICIAL DSU FACEBOOK, TWITTER, FLICKR AND YOUTUBE
The official Delaware State University Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and YouTube sites are operated through the Department of Marketing and Communications. For assistance in establishing a social media presence or publishing on the University’s official pages, please contact Dawn Mosley, executive director of Marketing and Communications, at dmosley [at] desu.edu.
The following are tips to consider when posting on Delaware State University online and social media networks/sites or from your personal networks/sites on behalf of Delaware State University:
FOCUS ON PROVIDING CONTENT YOUR AUDIENCE WILL FIND VALUABLE
Online and social media users are in the space to fulfill a need or want. Whether that need or want is directions around campus, event information, the ability to make an online purchase or something less tangible like a funny video or interesting conversation to pass time, it’s important to provide something of value to your audience when communicating with them online.
USE A CONVERSATIONAL TONE
Writing for social media should be less formal and more conversational, all the while aiming to draw interest to your message, event promotion or department. The focus should first be on the topics of interest of your audience. Introducing institutional DSU messages should be secondary and in sync with the audience’s desired topic of conversation whenever possible.
CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCES
Social media can often blur traditional boundaries between professional and personal relationships; use privacy settings to manage your dissemination of information. Select profile photos and avatars carefully and be mindful regarding the type of photos you upload.
SHOW FORETHOUGHT, RESPECT AND PROFESSIONAL RESTRAINT
- Think before you post — remember that no social media site is “private.” Posts and comments remain in archival systems after deletion and in search engine results for years.
- When discussing a bad experience or disagreeing with a concept or person, if you’re constructive and respectful in your posts, you have a better chance of achieving your goals or swaying a critic.
- In cases of responding to emotional or sensitive issues, take extra time and caution in responding. While immediacy is important in social media, in some cases it may be necessary to vet your response with a colleague or supervisor prior to posting that response.
CHECK YOUR FACTS
Verify information before you post to reduce the chances of having to make a correction. If a correction is needed, post the updated information quickly and visibly.
Use good ethical judgment when posting on social media sites. Follow University policies and do not post confidential or proprietary information about the University, students, alumni or co-workers. If discussing a situation involving individuals, ensure that they cannot be identified. Federal requirements such as FERPA, HIPAA, Health Insurance Security/Privacy and NCAA regulations should be followed.
AVOID DISCUSSIONS ABOUT RELIGION AND/OR POLITICS
Unless the discussion is specific to your program or job responsibilities, avoid highly emotional and divisive topics such as religion and/or politics when communicating on behalf of DSU.
SOURCES: Portions of this document have been adopted from the following sources:
- Ball State University. “Ball State University Social Media Policy.” 17 November 2009.
- DePaul University. “Social Media Guidelines.” 2006. http://brandresources.depaul.edu/vendor_guidelines/g_recommendation.aspx.