Lake Superior State University
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Section: General Administration Section Number: 1.6.2
Subject: Social Media Policy Date of Present Issue: 02/28/11
  Date of Previous Issues:

As an institution, LSSU recognizes the value of social media applications and supports their use. These tools enable the university to share information and events about the university to many different audiences and to provide an avenue of two-way communication with those audiences. The primary tools the university is currently using are YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

                                                                                                                                                                      

POLICY:

SECTION 1: POLICIES FOR ALL SOCIAL MEDIA SITES, INCLUDING PERSONAL SITES

  • Protect confidential, personal, and proprietary information: Do not post confidential information about Lake Superior State University, students, employees, or alumni. Federal requirements, such as FERPA and HIPAA must be adhered to. University policies and procedures regarding privacy and confidentiality must be followed. Disciplinary action may result from failure to follow these policies.
  • Respect copyright and fair use: Be aware of copyright and intellectual property rights when posting.
  • Don’t use LSSU logos for endorsements or personal use: Do not use the Lake Superior State University logo or other images on personal media sites. Do not use Lake Superior State University’s name to promote a product, cause, or political candidate, party or activity.
  • Respect university time and property: University computers and time on the job are reserved for university-related business as approved by supervisors and in accordance with university policies.
  • Terms of Service: Obey the Terms of Service of any social media platform utilized.

SECTION 2: BEST PRACTICES

This section applies for any posting on behalf of an official university department, unit or group, but the guidelines may be helpful for anyone posting on social media.

  • Think twice before posting: Privacy is non-existent in social media. Consider the consequences of your posting if it were to be widely known and how that might reflect on you and the university. Search engines are capable of turning up old posts and comments can easily be forwarded or copied. If you wouldn’t say what you are posting in a public and professional forum, consider whether you should post it online. If you are unsure about posting or responding to a comment, ask your supervisor or contact the university Public Relations Office for advice.
  • Be accurate: Make sure that you have the facts before posting on social media. Review your content for grammatical and spelling errors. This is very important if posting on behalf of the university in any official capacity.
  • Be respectful: Consider that any content contributed to a social media site can encourage comments or discussion of opposing viewpoints. Responses should be considered very carefully in light of how they may reflect on you and the university.
  • Remember and be aware of your audiences: A presence in social media can easily be made available to the general public. This may make your posting available to prospective and current students, current and future employers, parents, alumni, and peers. Consider whether your posting will alienate, harm, or provoke any of these audiences.
  • Personal site: Identify your views as your own. If you identify yourself as a Lake Superior State employee or faculty member, please make it clear that the views expressed are not necessarily those of the university.

SECTION 3: INSTITUTIONAL SOCIAL MEDIA

This section applies for any posting on behalf of an official university department, unit or group. These policies must be followed in addition to those policies and best practices listed above:

  • Secure the approval of your department head or manager prior to establishing a social media presence.
  • Notify the university: Departments, units or groups that have a social media presence or would like to establish one should contact the university Webmaster and their supervisor to ensure that all institutional social media coordinate with other LSSU sites and content. All institutional pages must have a full-time employee who is identified as being responsible for content. (See Appendix A)
  • Acknowledge who you are: If you are representing Lake Superior State University when posting on a social media platform, acknowledge it.
  • Develop and maintain a plan: Consider your messages, audiences and goals as well as a strategy for keeping information current, accurate and up-to-date. Plans should be reviewed and updated annually.
  • Link back to the university: Whenever possible, link back to LSSU’s website. Posts should be brief; redirecting a visitor to content that resides on the university site. When linking to a news article about Lake State, check first to see if you can link to a news release or publication on the LSSU website instead of to an outside publication or media outlet.
  • Protect the institutional voice and reputation: Posts should be professional in tone and done in good taste. No individual LSSU department, unit, or group should assume that its social media site represents the university as a whole. Consider this when naming sites or pages, selecting images for profile pages, and when selecting content for posting. Names, profile images, and posts should all be clearly linked to the department, unit or group rather than the institution as a whole.

Appendix A

Procedures for informing University Webmaster

  1. Send an e-mail notification to the University Webmaster (webmaster@lssu.edu) to inform the webmaster of your intent to establish a social media presence. Information should include:
    1. Media being used (Facebook, for example)
    2. Title of the page or account
    3. Staff member responsible for maintaining and posting information
    4. Log-in information for the administrator
    5. Supervisor responsible for the area using this social media application
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