Social Media Policy
Owner: Public Relations
Pertains to: Faculty, staff, and students
Description: Because social media is relatively new to many employees, here are some “best practice” guidelines to help you use these forums effectively, protect your personal and professional reputation, and follow university policies.
Blogs and social media networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn (just to name a few) are exciting virtual forums in which people share information, express their creativity, tell their stories, and connect with others who share their interests. Hamline University supports your participation in these online communities, consistent with these guidelines and university policy for technology use.
Because social media is relatively new to many employees, here are some “best practice” guidelines to help you use these forums effectively, protect your personal and professional reputation, and follow university policies.
Social Media Accounts - Overview
Posting on behalf of Hamline or to create an official Hamline channel, page, or account
Social media for personal use
Please note: this is a working draft. If you have suggestions, please contact Gail Nosek in Public Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please refer to the university’s Technology Use policy for information on appropriate use of Hamline computers.
Social Media: Overview
The keys to success in social media are to be honest about who you are, be thoughtful before you post, and respect the purpose of the community in which you are posting.
Respect university time and property. University computers and work time are to be used for university-related business. You should maintain your personal sites on your own time using non-Hamline computers. It’s appropriate to post at work if you are a supervisor-appointed administrator of a Hamline-related blog or Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or other social media account and you are posting to that account.
Be transparent. Be honest about who you are. Never hide your identity for the purpose of promoting Hamline through social media. In December 2009, the Federal Trade Commission implemented regulations requiring bloggers and online reviewers to reveal whether they have been compensated in any way for their endorsements of a product or business—a free copy of a book, dinner, complementary admission—or have a relationship to a company, product or service they review.
Be accurate. Make sure that you have all the facts before you post. It’s better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. Cite and link to your sources whenever possible. If you make an error, correct it quickly.
Be respectful. You are more likely to achieve your goals or provoke thoughtful discussion if you are constructive and respectful while discussing a bad experience or disagreeing with a concept or person.
Be a valued member. If you join a group or fan page on Facebook or if you post a comment on someone else’s blog, make sure you are contributing valuable insights. Don’t post something that would be considered ‘spam.’ Self-promoting behavior is viewed negatively and can lead to you being banned from websites or groups.
Consider your audiences. Social media often spans traditional boundaries between professional and personal relationships. Use privacy settings to restrict personal information on otherwise public sites. Choose profile photos and images carefully. Be thoughtful about the type of photos you upload.
Think before you post. There’s no such thing as a “private” social media site. Search engines can turn up posts years after the publication date. Comments can be forwarded or copied. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post. If you feel angry about a subject, it’s wise to delay posting until you are calm and clear-headed.
Maintain confidentiality. Do not post confidential, proprietary, or inflammatory information about Hamline, its students, its alumni, or your fellow employees. Use good ethical judgment and follow university policies and federal requirements, such as FERPA.