Social media has redefined how we communicate with various audiences. With tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and many more, anyone now has the ability to create a social media presence and share content instantly with friends and followers around the world. Social media has given The University of Findlay the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with many audiences and to communicate helpful information and resources, creating communities that reach far beyond campus.
The University of Findlay supports the use of social media to connect with prospective and current students, parents, alumni, donors, colleagues and other fans and friends. This policy creates a framework to do so effectively and intentionally, maintaining care to protect and enhance the University's brand and reputation.
If, after reading this policy, you're hesitant to launch a specific social media initiative for your area and want ideas on other ways to promote, please contact the Office of Marketing and Communication. We're willing to consult with you.
As social media and technology change, this policy will evolve. We are open to your feedback, suggestions and best practices. Please email us, call us or stop by. We're here to assist you in your marketing and communication needs.
STATEMENT OF POLICY
The use of social media outlets provides the University and its faculty, staff and students the opportunity to share and exchange information nearly instantaneously with other users all over the world. The information may be further shared outside the original network of users, thus expanding the reach of the information. This capability brings with it the potential to impact the reputation of the University and those who represent it. In an effort to manage this impact, The University of Findlay requires that all University-sponsored social media outlets be used in accordance with this policy.
A university-sponsored social media outlet is defined as any social media account with an expressed or implied connection (visually or through text) to The University of Findlay.
Each University-sponsored social media outlet must assign at least two account administrators (one must be a full-time UF employee) to monitor the site, name the UF Assistant Director of Communication as an additional co-administrator, and ensure it adheres to the following:
- Has approval of the unit head and is registered with the Office of Marketing & Communication.
- Complies with all laws, regulations and University policies; including but not limited to harassment, privacy, confidentiality, copyright, trademark, intellectual property, information security, information technology, commercial soliciting and libel.
- Uses University symbols and logos in accordance with University policies. Link to UF style guide: https://oilernation.findlay.edu/Offices/MarketingCommunication/Documents/UFGraphicIDTrademark.pdf
The University of Findlay recognizes the opportunities and benefits afforded by social media outlets, as well as the risks. The intent of this policy is to promote the appropriate and effective use of University-sponsored social media outlets. Through a coordinated effort, faculty, staff and students will be able to more effectively engage with the university community in our state, across the nation and around the world.
INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES AFFECTED BY THIS POLICY
All faculty, staff and student-run organizations of The University of Findlay
Personal accounts with social media outlets for private use are not governed by this policy. The University reaffirms its commitment to freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Accordingly, nothing in this policy is intended to limit any speech or conduct protected by the First Amendment. Employees and students have the right to participate in social media using personal equipment on their own time. They are expected never to post or create anything that would be potentially embarrassing or considered offensive in which The University of Findlay is specifically mentioned. Personal posts and comments must be clearly identified as those of the individual.
Account Administrator -
A full-time UF employee assigned the responsibility of maintaining a social media outlet on behalf of the University.
Social Media Outlets - Any online medium that allows a user to create and publish content (e.g., text, photos, video). This includes blogs, podcasts and third-party websites including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google Plus.
University, The University of Findlay -
Any unit, program, association or entity of The University of Findlay.
Used in an official capacity by a college, department, office, program or other unit of the university for purposes of representing the unit by disseminating news and information, promoting activities and/or otherwise communicating with its community members or the public in general.
• Use and maintain social media outlets to which they have been assigned in accordance with this policy.
• Notify the Office of Marketing and Communication of any changes in social media outlet registration information.
• Take appropriate steps to ensure social media outlets that are terminated are no longer visible to the public and that content can no longer be posted to them.
Colleges, Departments, Offices, Programs and Other Units of the University
• Comply with the procedures for initiating new university-sponsored social media outlets.
• Bring existing university-sponsored social media outlets into compliance with this policy by the date specified by the Office of Marketing and Communication.
• Respond to notices of inappropriate or illegal use of social media outlets under their control.
Office of Marketing and Communication/Social Media Coordinator
- Administer this policy
- Develop, maintain and make available online a list of best practices for using social media outlets.
- Assist units as requested in assessing the need for social media outlets and helping develop their strategy.
- Maintain social media outlet registration information provided by units
- In the event they see that use of a university-sponsored social media outlet has violated this policy or appears to no longer be maintained, notify the unit sponsoring the site of the problem and work with the unit to resolve the issue or terminate the site.
- Maintain log-in/administrator status on all University-sponsored social media sites.
• Review and determine whether to approve the use of social media outlets in an official capacity for their unit.
• Assign, or designate authority to assign, at least one account administrator to have primary responsibility for the social media outlet.
The Office of Marketing and Communication will develop, maintain and make available online best practices pages that will include information on planning for social media outlet use, registration of social media outlets and maintaining social media outlets.
Existing University-Sponsored Social Media Outlets
All university-sponsored social media outlets in existence prior to this policy's issue date must have account administrators assigned and be registered within 90 days of the policy's issue date.
Maintenance and Administration of University-Sponsored Social Media Outlets
Maintenance Account Administrators are responsible for the maintenance of their social media outlet, which includes:
- Complying with this policy and related laws, regulations and University policies, and any applicable terms and conditions imposed by any third-party social media outlet.
- Regularly generating new content on their social media outlet. (Best posting practices for each platform are detailed on our social media hub site.)
- Monitoring comments posted to the social media outlet and responding appropriately.
While the social media coordinator is not required or expected to monitor university-sponsored social media outlets, he or she is authorized to do so and, when necessary, intervene to respond to comments appropriately. Intervention may include deletion of comments that:
- Include spam or include controversial links to other sites
- Are clearly off topic
- Advocate illegal activity
- Promote particular services, products, or political organizations
- Infringe on copyrights or trademarks
- Contain other confidential information
- If, for any reason, an account administrator is no longer able to perform the required duties, the unit head (or his or her designee) must designate a new account administrator. Account administrators must ensure that any former account administrator no longer has access to the site and update the registration information with the social media coordinator.
- If, for any reason, an individual to whom the account administrator has delegated a portion of his or her duties is no longer able to perform the required duties, the account administrator must ensure that the delegate no longer has access to the site.
- Reassessment of Social Media Outlet Use
- Units are encouraged to periodically reassess their social media outlet use, taking into consideration the factors outlined in Best Practices sections of the UF Social Media Hub.
Termination of a University-Sponsored Social Media Outlet
- Termination by the Unit - Units may terminate the use of social media outlets at any time. In such instances, the account administrator will take appropriate steps to ensure the site is no longer visible to the public and that content can no longer be posted to the site. The account administrator also will notify the social media coordinator that use of the site has been terminated.
- Termination by the Social Media Coordinator - In the event the campus authority determines that use of a university-sponsored social media outlet has violated this policy or appears to no longer be maintained, he or she will contact the unit sponsoring the site to notify them of the issue. If attempts to remedy the situation fail, the social media coordinator may elect to terminate the use of the social media outlet. In so doing, he or she will take appropriate steps to ensure the site is no longer visible to the public and that content can no longer be posted to the site.
College and Department Policies and Practices
Individual colleges or departments may maintain more stringent policies or practices to address the use of university-sponsored social media outlets. In the event of an apparent conflict between a lower-level policy or practice and this policy, the provisions of this policy will prevail.